What Can We Pair to Make Hang Cleans Easier?

Pairing lifts together is an idea that many implement as an easy way to make time more efficient in the gym (get more work done in less time).  Pairing core stability drills, mobility exercises, or other movements with main lifts can help complement the lift by reinforcing position or addressing underlying issues that the athlete or client may need.  See the example below…

A1) Goblet Squat 4 x 6

A2) Ankle Mobility on Wall 2 x 10/side

A3) SB Front Plank w/ Rollout 2 x 10

We prescribed an ankle mobility drill in order to address an issue with a particular athlete because in the assessment he/she may lack dorsiflexion.  As a result, when they squat they tend to toe-out more than normal and the knees cave in.  We can address this a few ways but the take home is to pair something the athlete needs which will help encourage better form and fluidity for the main lift.

Hang Cleans are no different.  A few drills that I like to pair with hang cleans are…

1) Band Lat AIS stretches 2 x 8-10 (2sec holds)/side

2) KB Goblet Squat w/ Pressout or “Pulse”
3) Hands Free Front Squat

These three address some of the biggest issues with hang clean technique…

  • In the “hyper-extended” athlete (think very strong or stiff) their lats tend to be very stiff.  When your lats are  shortened or not able to relax, the athlete will have a damn hard time getting the elbows up in the “catch” position.  

  • KB Goblet Squat w Pulse/Pressout is a simple core stability drill to reinforce a solid squat position while working on hip mobility
  • Adding in a 1-2 sets of hands free front squats in the beginning can help teach our athletes the “catch” position or where the bar should lay on their shoulders

When pairing these exercises with hang cleans it may be a safer bet to use light loads because the hang clean is trying to develop power which will be hard to produce under fatigue.  There is nothing  worse then doing a highly technical lift while exhausted!


Categories: Injury Prevention, Strength Training

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Did anyone else notice the guy in the background of the Hands Free Squat sit down on the leg extension machine and do cheat curls while staring at himself, especially when he finished the set he paused sideways and flexed! Awesome! Great article as well, these are all things I try to do to improve my athletes clean technique!

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