For the intents and purposes of CrossFit, the clean can be broken into three parts–the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pulls.
The 1st pull goes from the ground to the hang position at mid thigh. The weight is jumped up from the hang, not the ground. Thus, it is crucial that the tension in the body manifest at the ground is maintained when the bar is at the hang. This is the crux of the of the 1st pull, how to keep that tension at the hang without pausing. Common mistakes are jumping with the bar too low, right above the knee for example, and jumping with the bar too high, above mid thigh. Mid thigh is, for most people, the sweet spot, as too low often produces an arcing”bubble” effect and too high means there is too little jump.
The bar is in essence deadlifted from the ground to the hang at mid thigh and then jumped from there. Assistance exercises used to facilitate the 1st pull are, among others, snatch grip deadlifts and Romanian deadlifts (RDLs), as well as conventional deadlifts. Bands can be used if you want to get fancy. Another exercise I like is done with a partner. The lifter sets up for the 1st pull while the partner places a stick or dowel just touching the lifter’s butt. The other hand is on the lifter’s forehead. As the lifter rises from the ground to the hang, he or she endeavors to keep their butt touching the stick and their forehead touching the hand. They won’t be able to keep either end touching, but the trying creates great tension in the body, particularly in the hamstrings and the glutes.
Next week, we will look at the 2nd pull.
Just a reminder that the box is closed this weekend for remodeling. Also, new classes have been added Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7am and Friday afternoon at 5pm.
100 Thrusters 85/55#
At each minute, starting at ‘go’, do 3 burpees and 3 box jumps.
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