Caught in Limbo!


A common error in training with the clean is catching it incorrectly. During attempts for records it looks like someone’s back in action! This is the guy that speaks on olympic lifting technique? This VIDEO is a clear example of common efforts to grab attention with the better athletes while forgetting that each athlete deserves care. Instead of being negative I will share some of my experiences with the limbo catch commonly found at the youtube channel with Coach Dos. Here are some of my thoughts on this phenomenon.

The dip on the catch will vary between athlete and the key is to see how their overall static and movement posture is on the front squat first. If they are weak in the posterior chain, and lack mobility in the ankle joint, they should catch it higher and make sure they can rack the weight well. Some athletes will exhibit restrictions on the tricep, elbow, wrist, or shoulder, causing them to catch without a full rack and this often leads them to the limbo catch. Also, the pelvis needs to be out of anything close to posterior tilt, as the temptations to get into a knee dominant action will happen with those that have those skill sets with squat pattens at reflex that are unbalanced.

Absorbing the load requires an even balance between the knee moving forward while the butt goes back, most of the time the knee is rolling forward and the back sliding forward instead of pushed back. Efforts to correct the limbo catch should be done in the jump training and in warm-up, until it’s automatic, instead of teaching it during heavy loads when it’s the most obvious. The root of the problem is the motor program deep down, not at that load or weight level. Often coaches say they only have a few sets of cleans in the tank after speed, jump, and throw training, and I agree it’s hard to find time and effort for more teaching. This is why I advocate the athletes be able to be good athletes, so they have the right jumping (and in this case landing) skills to accept the load first before waiting to address it later when it becomes glaring.

The clean can reinforce plyos and plyos can reinforce cleans as movement and load are not to be segregated by classes when one is teaching. We train only what we can do right and we coach and teach what we want to be right in the future.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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