In Coaching, CrossFit, HD Videos

February 07, 2014

Video Article

When it comes to the clean, it’s all about fully opening the hips.

In other words, “violently extend the hip,” says Jesse Ward, a member of CrossFit’s Level 1 Seminar Staff and a coach at CrossFit Lynnwood in Washington state.

To drive home the point, he has athletes throw medicine balls backward. It’s a simple but creative drill the ebullient Ward uses to help athletes identify and focus on one critical part of the clean. You can usually find a host of form errors in any lifter, and Ward is simplifying things to remedy one major problem: the muted hip.

“The next piece is the hip—now that it’s open—must go back to create that catch position and you can stand up and finish the lift,” he explains.

With med balls in hand at waist level, athletes simply push the hips back to drop into a very shallow squat while rotating the hands around the ball.

“What I want you to feel is the hip going from tight butt to butt back,” he says.

Finally, Ward has the athletes on the bar, and he uses a tactile cue to further encourage one lifter to fully extend the hips in the clean. When the athlete correctly snaps his hips open and the bar jumps to his shoulders, Ward lets him know exactly what time it is: “That’s crazy time. Bro, that’s PR city.”

Video by Ian Wittenber.

6min 39sec

HD file size: 123 MB
SD mov file size: 46 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Oly Optimization by Chad Vaughn, published Nov. 18, 2011.

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5 Comments on “Crazy-Time Power Cleans With Jesse Ward”


wrote …

As a coach, it's great to see how to address these common problems and the different cues that can be given. Post more like this!


wrote …

Great coaching Jesse. Thanks for the clean teaching path to encourage full hip drive, but steer the client out of the backbend receiving position fault. Thanks. Z.


wrote …

I love this video. Little humor goes a long way in teaching. "Prison Defense" " Brotha you gotta get the D outta the P you know what I'm sayin"

Bahaha..a little over the top, but definitely effective!

Thanks for keepin it real Jesse!



Matt Charney wrote …

We have been using a Med Ball warm up and throws over the head backwards with slam balls for well over a year now. I got this method from Chad Wesley Smith of Juggernaut Training Systems.

I like some of the cues, we always look for ways to improve and modify our programming.


wrote …

just come across this while cruising for tips and cues

Love the prep drills here and how quick and effective they are to not only use but explain.

Good skills

"Crazy Time"

Thanks Jesse

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