The Fault: Bad stance, grip, and/or setup.Coach Mike Burgener says that 90% of all missed lifts can be attributed to our feet. We may not all be able to clean and jerk 425 pounds but we can ALL set up like we are going to. Correcting the grip, stance and setup are merely a matter of not neglecting them in the rush to rip the barbell off the floor.
The Fix: FOCUS!!!The setup is 90% mental and 10% being flexible enough to get into setup position. (That’s what Chris says though he has no science to back this up). You may not set a PR on every lift but you should set up like you’re about to. The feet should be hip width apart (always!). Walk up to the bar and set your feet under your hips before you do anything else! Now, BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, tighten the belly and get that core locked in. You’ll thank me for this later. The setup should see your knees tracking slightly out, your butt down, your shoulders pulled back and your chest up. All three of those should have your shoulders just about right over the bar. Lastly, the grip should be a hook grip (always!), with the hands a minimum of a thumbs distance away from the legs and the knuckles pointing at the ground.
The Fault: The early pullThe clean is essentially segmented into three pulls that happen SUPER FAST but it’s pivotal that our body and the bar are in the right place at all three checkpoints along the way.
From the ground - The first pull is a smooth and steady pull is from the ground to the knees.
Launch position - The second pull begins once the barbell has passed the knees and and the hips are extended.
Pulling ourselves under the bar - The third pull is us pulling ourselves around and under the bar.We’re all pretty good on the first pull. It’s the second pull where the wheels come off. Starting the second pull before our hips are extended means we lose almost all of power are hips are intended to generate. It also has ramifications on the third pull because it means the bar doesn’t get any height and we can’t get underneath it and into a good receiving position with the elbows up.