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clean flexibility

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:18 am
by robertscott
i've been training a clean and press, actually it's more of a "muscle" clean and press, I'm doing it as an upper body exercise, the jerk doesn't really interest me and I'm not too bothered about the muscle clean giving me bad habits for proper cleans because i have no aspirations to be a competitive olympic lifter.

Issue I'm having is I can't get my arms parallel to the ground, like in the video on this site, my elbows are still pointing at the ground. They just won't do it, I'm nowhere near flexible enough.

Is this a problem? To be honest it doesn't really feel like a problem, for the press part of my lift it seems that having my elbows pointing at the ground puts me in a better position to hoist the weight up over my head. Having said that if getting the flexibility issue dealt with could help me shift heavier weights, then I'm all for it.

If i should get more flexible what stretches should i do? Wrists? Triceps? How do you stretch your triceps?

Anyway all pearls of wisdom as appreciated as ever.

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:57 am
by KPj
Sounds like wrists to me. I had the same problem which meant I always done front squats with the arms crossed/bodybuilder grip but a bout 6 months or so ago I managed to be able to do the olympic grip (without tearing my wrists to pieces!). I actually find it's easier to keep a good back position and not lean forward when using that grip.

What I done was drills out of Inside Out. I didn't make it a priority I just threw things into existing workouts. The one's I used the most was...

Get a bar racked and just try and get into the olympic grip front squat position, whilst it's still on the rack. So, you grab it, spin your elbows round until it get's a little uncomfortable, then return to starting position. The bar doesn't leave the rack, you're just spinning your elbows under it as far as you can go. I done this mostly 'dynamically' (8-10 reps) but occasionally held it for time, too. There's nothing to stop you doing this between sets when you're using the squat rack.

The other which 'feels' the most effective is to stand side on with a bench or step or anything (i sometimes do this using a desk at work). Place both hands flat on it, with the fingers pointing towards you, palms down. Leaning on the palms slighly, move you're arms/elbows backwards (sort of 'rock' back) until it feels uncomfortable and repeat for the desired reps (again I shoot for 8-10). This feels brutally effective. Sometimes I held it for time on right side because the right side was more restricted than the left. Again, this can be done between exercises or sets, it's very convenient. You can do it anywhere, on a desk, on the floor, etc

On top of that, i'm in the habbit of doing wrist stretches throughout the day now. There's wrist stretches that I use in the following article, ... amp_wrists

I'm not too specific with what one's i use, i just try and stretch them out a few times a day when at work.


Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:58 pm
by robertscott
hmm ok cheers KPj i've never even considered addressing wrist flexibility but i guess now's the time