The Catch Position

When working with the hang clean, the catch position is just as crucial as any other part of the lift. A poor catch position can lead to several issues.

-Wrist and elbow pain or injury.

-Reinforce poor mechanics for other rack position lifts (i.e front squat or jerk).

We consider the ability to absorb force in the hang clean, a major indicator for an athlete’s ability to absorb force in their sport well (i.e hockey check, football tackle, martial arts striking or throwing). Thus, absorption of the hang clean must be prioritized. We consider it to be a great concussion and injury reduction strategy.

Top Left- A good rack position. Elbows are up, triceps are parallel to the floor. The bar is rolled back slightly on the fingertips, unloading the extended wrists.

Top Right- A common poor catch position. Bar is being gripped too tightly, elbows are down, and lots of that force is being absorbed in wrist extension.

Commonly, too much load is the problem with the catch. TRY THIS FIRST. If you do not have success, try some of these drills.

Middle Left- Downward facing dog to promote thoracic extension.

Middle Right- Active thoracic rotations with hand behind neck. This allows for focus on the long head of the tricep and lat, opening of the shoulder and promotes good scapular movement.

Bottom Left- A single sided low intensity entry drill for the rack position. This will be a good place for people to start understanding what it feels like to drive the elbows up in the finish and have the bar resting on their deltoid.

Bottom Right- A higher intensity rack position unloading. This is a great progression from the single sided version. This simply hammers home what the catch position should feel like. It’s important to practice these with some load in order to allow the athlete to begin to adapt to the stress of a loaded rack position.

Thanks for reading! – @not_mark_sanchez