In this video filmed at a CrossFit Competitors Course at CrossFit Park City, Eric O’Connor and Chris Spealler show how to use the clean in workouts that test speed and conditioning rather than just max strength and power.
With a light load, a high-elbows rack position isn’t needed because you just have to get your elbows in front of the bar for the rep to count. Even though you aren’t employing the precise scoop you would use in an max-effort Olympic lift, hip drive is still very important in elevating the barbell high enough for you to quickly shoot the elbows under it.
With the power clean, the elbows will be slightly higher in the rack position, and there’s time to be saved by returning the bar to the floor under control rather than letting it bounce all over the place. In the full squat clean, it’s preferable to have the elbows very high in a good rack position.
When going overhead, the push press is the best option for speed, and the jerk can be employed as needed. In the power clean and jerk at submaximal weight, a “bastardized thruster” will speed things up, while you can use a full thruster when coming out of a squat clean. If you burn out on those movements, it’s time to stand from the clean and then employ the push press or the jerk.
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SD mov file size: 47 MB
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Additional reading: Snatch Strategies for CrossFit Workouts and Competitions by Dave Castro, published June 2, 2010.