I've started to perform the Clean from a month, and I often have an issue: when I try to catch the bar, it lands on my upper chest instead on my collarbone.

The following picture shows the point where the bar touches me when I try to catch it (in red). I do not do this mistake every time, but when I do it I instinctively stay for a while in a sort of isometric contraction (about 1/2 second) desperately trying to bring the bar to my collarbone for the rack position. When it happens, I probably use my arms and I feel pain in the blue points in the following picture.

enter image description here

To make it clear, I've uploaded a video there.

My Opinion: possible causes are

  • My legs aren't able to pull the bar high enough to get under it. However, sometimes this problem occurs also with a light weight (despite less frequently)

  • I'm not fast enough to get under the bar. From my video I think I'm not able to go under the bar. However, I think this can't be the only mistake. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, the Muscle Clean exercise allows the athlete not to go under the bar. So, even if the purpose was to make a normal clean, this technique is not inherently harmful. But I feel pain in the blue points, so there is probably a mistake I cannot understand.

  • My elbows are not quick at raising up

What do you think is the cause and do you have any suggestions to fix it?

1 Answer 1


Catching the bar on your chest can be caused by any of the options you laid out in your question. From your video, it seems that you are trying to pull the bar too high, and allowing your forearms to come forward. This creates a rounded bar path and slows the turnover of your elbows.

A few things to try:

Try using straps (even with low weights) to remove the tension in your arms, and do high pulls and muscle cleans keeping your elbows up not back (ie keep your forearms vertical). The bar should rise to about nipple height.

Try catching your clean a little lower. Instead of pulling the bar very high to catch almost standing, try to catch it with a little more bend in the knees. This should give you more leeway to catch properly.

You may be limited by your mobility. If you find you cannot get into a good rack position, try stretching your lats and triceps as well as mobilizing your T spine.

  • Thank you for your suggestions. About the first one, do you mean I should keep my forearms vertical until about nipple height, and then quickly rotate them (instead of gradually rotating them during the bar path)?
    – Kinka-Byo
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 13:54
  • 1
    @Kinka-Byo yes that's what I meant
    – E.Aigle
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 13:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.