The Glassman Chipper: Week 28 "The Clean"

In Week 28 of the Glassman Chipper challenge, Coach Glassman discusses The Clean.  Simply put "moving a load (in the Olympic sense, a barbell) from at rest on the ground, to the shoulders."  Attempts to refine this movement technique as an athlete and/or a coach prove that "putting it simply" and "executing it simply" are at two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Bottom Line Up Front: The Clean is a functional movement that requires high power output to perform under challenging load, and (as Coach Glassman states) "power is that important."

All of us have likely been through many repetitions of Clean variations, and have been coached by various Instructors, each with their own tips and cues.  Here are the major takeaway points from Coach Glassman's 2003 article:

  • Hook Grip "may eventually increase your clean by 50 percent or more"
  • During the Liftoff, "the arms are not pulling at all.  Think of them as straps."
  • "At the exact instant of reaching the maximum extension point, the hip violently retreats downward into a squat."

As with many other early CrossFit Journal articles, Coach Glassman offers a rule of thumb for strength prerequisites of the component movements within The Clean, The Deadlift and The Front Squat.  4:1 ratio, meaning in order to perform The Clean, your component lift maximums should be at least four times greater.  How do you feel about that?

Finally, Coach describes a "typical" CrossFit workout that consists of 15-12-9 touch-and-go repetitions of The Clean at the heaviest weight possible.  Does that sound familiar?

The Clean: The "King of All Exercises".  Post to comments.

Image used from: