Q: My elbows are not coming up during my Clean. Do you have any drills I could do to help me with that?
A: First check the rotation of the bar. Your elbows may be down because the spin on your bar is no good. If the spin is good then your grip may be too wide. It is more difficult to get your elbows up with a wide grip. Try bringing your hands in a little. If the grip is fine spend some time stretching the lats and work on getting your elbows up with an empty bar. Here is a stretch you can do on your own before Cleans. Using two bars, place one bar in a squat rack at shoulder height and the other bar should be racked across your five points. Bring your elbows up and put the back of your arms on top of the other bar in the squat rack. Squat a quarter of the way down and let the elbows come up.
When your elbows are down on a Clean, it could also mean the “finish” lacks power. Your hips may be coming through slow. Concentrate on bringing the hips all the way through the bar at the “finish” of your pull. Extend your body all the way until your shoulders move slightly behind the bar. Make some noise with your feet to help you “finish” more aggressively. Powers are the best exercise to get you thinking about completing your “finish”. Start power Cleaning once or twice a week. Use the combination power Clean + hang Clean above the knee. This is a great combination to really get you thinking about turning your elbows over fast on the power Clean and keeping that same “finish” on the hang Clean. Working in the hang will set your back vertical so all of your concentration can be put into bringing your hips through violently and getting the elbows up.