The Clean & Rep Efficiency

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Hi guys,

Coach Sal here with the first blog of a completely new project that I’m developing in collaboration with Mike Causer and LOWA (London Weightlifting Academy) with the aim of helping the community through a slightly different way of coaching.

On a weekly basis, we will give you some sort of homework (mobility and drills) and progressions related to a certain movement that you can perform before or after class, or in your own time outside the gym.

The movement will change every four weeks.

Starting with March we will introduce you to the CLEAN! The Clean will be broken down into 4 phases. Each week we will give you some simple exercises to help perfect each part.


Here is a visual of how each part should look:

Phase 1 – Start & Load

Mike1 Mike2

Phase 2 – Jump


Phase 3 – Turn


Phase 4 – Catch & Recovery

Mike5 Mike6

The athlete begins the clean by squatting down to grasp the bar. Hands are positioned approximately a thumb’s distance from hips using what is known as a hook grip. The hook grip requires grasping the bar so that the fingers go over the thumb. This makes it much easier for the lifter to maintain his grip on the bar. The lifter’s arms are relaxed and just outside the legs with the bar up against the shins. The hips are as low as necessary to grasp the bar, with the feet placed approximately at hip width. Toes may be pointed straight ahead or angled out according to the lifters’ preference. The chest is up and the back is neutral to slightly hyper extended. This is the starting position of the “pull” phase of the lift.

The lifter jumps the bar up through triple extension (in very quick succession) of the hips, knees and then ankles. When the legs have driven the bar as high as possible, the lifter pulls under the bar by violently shrugging (contracting) the upper back. This pulls the lifter under the bar and into a deep front squat position. The lifter then stands in preparation for the second phase.

Videos of Assistance Exercises and Mobility:

Working ankle mobility:


Position drill working the first and second pulls:


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