Common Faults: Barbell Crashes in The Clean

It’s obvious when a lifter under pulls the bar, but it is often less obvious when a lifter over pulls the bar/drops under too quickly. When this happens, it can create a crashing of the barbell. Imagine taking the bar out of the rack for a front squat, lowering it down with control and creating tension as you lower the weight, then standing it up. Now imagine sitting in the bottom of your squat and having the barbell drop on you and trying to stand it up. The crashing will likely cause a loss of position losing the spring like effect of the stretch shorting cycle making it difficult to stand the weight up. 


After the barbell has been accelerated the lifter should immediately pull under the bar into an active receiving position (never “dropping”) attempting to meet the barbell at the height it was pulled, letting the weight naturally push the lifter down until the lifter overcomes the weight and stands it up. As the weight gets heavier the bar won’t travel as high requiring it to be received lower.

This is true for the snatch as well but won’t appear to crash. Instead the bar will fall behind or in front of the lifter.

Why the Barbell Crashes:

  • Rushing under the barbell. Often from the lifter lacking the confidence they will be able to get under the bar in time.

  • Loss of connection with the barbell.

  • Flipping the barbell/Poor turnover.

  • Loss/inactive squat under the bar.


Corrections should be used to help the lifter feel the turn over and how to stay connected to the barbell. Some exercises that can be used: