Squat Clean Tips

Squat Clean Tips: Last Monday we began our 40 Day Fitness Challenge and those of you in the “performance” division had to find your one rep max on the squat clean. Here is a video with tips to improve that. Come to Open Gym and test it out! Good luck on your next 29 days!

The squat clean is an essential lift in any athlete’s repertoire, especially in CrossFit. It combines strength, power, coordination, and mobility, and mastering it can significantly enhance your overall fitness performance. After beginning our 40 Day Fitness Challenge, where participants in the “performance” division discovered their one-rep max in the squat clean, it’s crucial to focus on refining technique to see improvements in this lift.

Firstly, let’s break down the squat clean. It’s a two-part lift: a clean, followed by a front squat. The clean requires you to lift the barbell from the ground to a front-rack position in one fluid motion. The front squat then involves squatting down with the weight and standing back up.

To improve your squat clean, consider the following tips:

  1. Starting Position: Your starting position is key. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with the barbell over the balls of your feet. Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width. Ensure your back is straight, your shoulders are over the bar, and your chest is up.
  2. First Pull: Lift the bar off the floor by extending your legs. Keep the bar close to your body and your back angle constant. The bar should travel in a straight line.
  3. Second Pull: As the bar passes your knees, accelerate the bar upwards by powerfully extending your hips, knees, and ankles (triple extension). Shrug your shoulders and keep the bar close to your body.
  4. Catch Phase: Drop into a front squat position quickly as you rotate your elbows forward to catch the bar in the front-rack position. Your elbows should be high, and the bar should rest on your shoulders and chest, not just your hands.
  5. Front Squat: Keep your elbows up and your core tight as you squat down. Go as low as you can while keeping your heels on the ground and your back straight. Then, drive back up to a standing position.
  6. Practice and Consistency: Like any skill, the squat clean requires regular practice. Use Open Gym times to work on your technique, starting with a lighter weight and gradually increasing as your form improves.

The video provided offers additional visual cues and professional insights to help refine your technique. Watching and learning from others, especially those more experienced, can be incredibly beneficial.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of mobility and flexibility, particularly in the wrists, shoulders, and hips, for the squat clean. Incorporate mobility exercises into your routine to improve your range of motion, which is essential for a successful lift.

Good luck with the remainder of your 40 Day Fitness Challenge! Remember, improvement comes with consistent effort and patience. Keep practicing, stay focused, and you’ll likely see a noticeable improvement in your squat clean performance.