With Clean and Jerks coming up this Friday I think this is a good opportunity to re-visit the clean, since we usually talk about the split jerk more often. While the clean is not as technical as the split jerk and tends to not be the limiting factor for most people, if it is executed in a more efficient or technical manor, it can set your jerk up for success.
I came across an article that has a couple of tips on how to improve the clean, the first one being improving front rack position. Having a good front rack position will allow you to receive the barbell in a more optimal position at the bottom of the clean and will make it easier to come out of the bottom of your clean. If you have a very poor front rack you are putting yourself at a disadvantage as it can make getting out of the bottom of the clean much harder. As many of you know this is the bane of my CrossFit existence but believe it or not my front rack position has improved over the years! Check out this video for some helpful stretches to improve your front rack.
Another tip the article talks about is being more like Zlatan Vanev. If you are like me you have no idea who this guy is. He was a world class Bulgarian weightlifter in the 80’s and 90’s (the time when Bulgarians dominated the weightlifting world). The article shows a clip of him attempting a world record clean clean and jerk of 210 kg (463 lb) 5 times all of which ended up being misses. What was more impressive than the weight he was lifting, was his mental ability to be fearless when attacking the weight. You could tell that every time he walked up to the bar there was no doubt in his mind he was going to stick the weight. While we are not world class weightlifters, that does not mean we cannot take the same mentality as them when we approach the bar. Whenever we are approaching any kind of heavy lift, we need to have full confidence in our abilities and no doubts in our mind. As much as weightlifting is a demonstration of physical prowess, it is as much a demonstration of mental fortitude. Something that I personally like to do before a big lift is positive self talk just to make sure that I am mentally prepared to attack the weight. So before your next big lift jut remind yourself, “I’ve got this”, and stick the lift!
Those are just a couple of tips to help improve your clean. If you want to check out the full article you can see it here. If you have any questions regarding technique, mobility, or anything else pertaining to the clean feel free to talk to myself or any of the other coaches!