dumbbell clean advice needed

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PeterP
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dumbbell clean advice needed

Post by PeterP » Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:05 pm

I just did my first olympic type movement today ... a 2 dumbbell clean.

I wonder if anyone has tips on doing these. Specifically, I have adjustable dumbbells and so the ends stick out. While I was doing the clean those two ends were coming close to my neck and I worried what might happen if they happened to slice me. I was using small weight so it wasn't an issue now but I worry about whether this is the correct thing to do with such dumbbells.

Should I instead have my hands face my body (so at the top of the clean my palms are facing my ears)? This will keep the steel ends away from my neck but it also seems like it will be much harder to do this with heavier weight (because the weight has to flip as opposed to just spinning on it's axis ... make sense?). Maybe with a dumbbell clean you are just stuck with using smaller weights for safety reasons. I doubt crossfit will ever ask me to clean a huge weight ... but then again maybe they will have a WOD that is just singles of clean. Then I'll have to go all out with the dumbbells and I worry about getting hurt due to bad technique.

Comments?
Peter Parker
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TimD
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Post by TimD » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:05 pm

Hi Peter. I understand exactly what you are saying. Most people use gyms and have access to Hex or the fixed DB's that are welded on the ends with no proruding bar. I have powerblocks. But I do have two solutions for you.
1. You know crossfit, so instead of cleaning, take a bit wider than shoulderwidth stance (semi-sumo - this is the stance you would use for 2 KB work), and instead of cleaning the db's,do the 2DB sumo-deadlift high pull. Grag the DB's with a pronated grip, ome up as in a deadlift, kick hard with the hips, and with momentum, high pull the bells. No real need to rack it.
2. Same stance, but use a pals facing grip (bar point fore and aft), and drive out like doing a DB/KB swing, but don't keep the arms straight, but power-hammer curl it to the shoulders so that the bar ends up on the shoulders point fore and aft.
Either way is a very good substitute.
Hope this helps.
Tim

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Post by Hoister » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:20 pm

Peter,

I am using dumbells for my strength workouts on my current cycle - 100's built of 10's on 18" bars. I have found that the ONLY way to clean them with a rack is to rack it with your palms facing in toward your ears. Otherwise i will smash my own face in with the inner set of plates on each bar!

The awkward part for many is doing this chosing the start position that works for you. It takes practise, but you can get used to any of the following with patience:

-bars in front of you, end to end.
-bars in front of you parallel, ends pointing fore/aft, between your feet (sumo stance)
-bars at sides of you, ends pointing fore/aft, outside your feet (narrow stance)

I prefer option 3 as it is the most difficult for me and stimulates the most muscle.

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Post by PeterP » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:02 am

Thanks guys. I knew you'd have the experience to answer this one. I'll use that next time I need to do a clean.

On a different subject, I've never done a snatch before but I know it will come up eventually. With a dumbbell snatch, would you orient the dumbbells parallel to eachother (fore/aft as you called it) when you catch them in the overhead squat?

Another one: I'm going to do my first ever overhead squats today. Should I have the dumbbells parallel to eachother during this? Or should I keep them in line with eachother ... simulating the hand position that I would use on a real bar?

Finally, does any of this really matter? Or should I just do what feels right and safest for each particular motion?

Thanks. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience.
Peter Parker
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Post by Hoister » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:41 am

There are generally three reasons to follow specific techniques for each type of lift - (1) safety, (2) proper execution for desired stimulation/training-effect and (3) rules of the lift as they pertain to certain competitive parameters.

If you satisfy (1) and (2) and you aren't competing, who cares how you perform the lift? I say if it don't hurt and it gives you the effect you are after, have at it.

A little trial and error will tell you how you should best perform the movements you listed.

Now, for me personally, i always prefer the dumbells parallel orientation. (I HATE doing overhead squats with 2 dumbells - let me know how you like it! I prefer to do them with one only.)

-Hoister

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Post by TimD » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:43 am

Agree with Hoister. Parallel works for me. On ohs, LOL, with 2 DB's it's very nasty. Get a bar and use a wide grip, or use 1 DB
Tim

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Post by PeterP » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:27 pm

Ok, so last night I tried some overhead squats for the first time (using dumbbells, of course). Now I know why TimD was laughing ... they are tough! 2 dumbbells was a joke. One was doable. So I did a couple one handed 1-dumbbell overhead squats (using the bsquat position advocated by Bryce) and I think that could work if I switched hands to make sure I trained both. I didn't end up going for 7 max triples as the WOD called for because I was really tired. I'll just skip that one for now and try overhead squats again the next time they come up in the WOD.
Peter Parker
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