There’s a rumor going around that the hang clean is so difficult that you shouldn’t even attempt it. For this reason, many coaches will avoid teaching it, leaving hundreds of thousands of athletes in this nation weak.
Don’t be fooled by the hoopla. Hang cleans are difficult, but not nearly as difficult as they appear. Anybody – anyone – can learn to conduct a great hang clean. What’s more, you just need to know three steps to complete it!
I used to have a lot of fun experimenting with computer animation software. You can rapidly make a moving image with those apps by merely sketching two or three frames. These are known as “key frames” in animation. You tell the computer the most critical positions you want your character to be in during your “movie,” and the program handles the rest.
The Knee Position
You should start with the bar almost touching your kneecaps. Your weight is bearing down on your heels. Furthermore, your hips should be raised high enough so that your knee angle is quite shallow. This is going to put a lot of strain on your hamstrings! I often tell people that they’re either practicing it incorrectly or are a yoga expert if this posture feels comfortable to them.
- You should put your weight on your heels.
- Like a yoga expert, raise your hips high.
- Tighten your lats and press the bar into your body.
- The Hip Placement
In weightlifting, the hip position is the most crucial. You’ll be good at any variant of the Olympic lifts, including the hang clean if you can practice this area and make it the most comfortable location on the planet for you to be. You won’t if you don’t. That’s all there is to it. As high up your thigh as possible, the bar should be touching your body. Your weight should be on your heels once more.
What is the reason behind this?
Because if you don’t, the bar will come into the hip with a more horizontal trajectory rather than the vertical trajectory you want. Because of the horizontal bar route, the bar will bounce forward off of your hip and then swing around you. You’ll miss it if you use hefty weights.
- The emphasis is on the heels.
- Back behind the bar, shoulders back.
- Tighten your lats.
Putting It All Together
There are more than three stages to completing a hang clean. The first error people make with the clean is trying to move too quickly too soon. The bar must be purposefully moved from the knee to the hip position.
The bar begins slowly and quickly increases in speed. The knee is accelerating, not exploding. When the bar is at the hip, you must finish up moving at full speed. However, you should not begin at full speed from the knee. To begin, I would err on the side of caution and go slower than you are comfortable with. In the beginning, hitting the appropriate locations is considerably more crucial than moving fast and utilizing a lot of weight with bad form.
- Begin at the knee.
- Accelerate to the hip (touch it!) and raise the bar.
- Then it’s only a matter of catching it.
Isn’t that simple?! You’ll need to put in some practice time. However, you now know the only three items on which you should concentrate. Drill each of these positions, as well as your ability to transition smoothly from one to the next, and you’ll be able to add speed and weight to the bar over time.
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