Clean Pulls and the common faults

Pulls are necessary in any Olympic lifting programming. Clean pulls are so great in the fact that they allow us to go through all the positions of the clean and reach full triple extension at the top. For a clean pull the setup should be the same as the clean. Hips are slightly above the knees, shoulders are over the bar, shoulder blades are pinched back, chest is out, the lower back has a curve, knuckles are down, and the arms are straight.

Lets break the pull down into 3 phases: 1) The pull from the ground the below the knee 2) below the knee to the hips 3) hips to receiving position

During the first pull the hips and shoulders should rise at the same rate. During the second pull the shoulders begin to come behind the bar as the hips come forward and the bar is swept up the thigh. In the third pull triple extension is reached and the shoulders shrug to bring the body under the bar

Common errors in the pull:

The stripper pull: where the hips rise faster than the shoulders. Hence, looking like a stripper on the pole. Remember that till the bar reaches the knee, hips and shoulders should rise at the same rate. A great cue for this is to tell the athlete to lead the bar with their shoulders coming off the ground.

Shoulders behind the bar. Some athletes will start with their shoulders too far over the bar which causes the hamstrings to essentially be shorted out of the equation. This puts more pressure on the lower back as well. Again, make sure the athlete is in a correct starting position and the hips and shoulders rise at the same rate. If the shoulders rise faster than the hips, this will cause the bar to travel around the knees, instead of a straight line.

Coming on the toes too early. Sometimes an athlete will come onto their toes before finishing the lift. This will either cause the athlete to fall forward or finish with muted hips and not reach triple extension.