Analysis of Spencer Arnold’s Yo-Yo Clean

In America and really all over, the biggest weightlifting mistake athletes make is getting behind the bar too soon.

They’re impatient! Some have come up in the sport believing athletes actually bang the bar with their hips. Really that’s an optical illusion as it’s actually just gradually meeting an uppercut.


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The goal of the first pull is to set up the second pull and to create as much velocity as possible. That velocity comes from having a long first pull. A longer first pull will:

  • create more velocity due to impulse (the longer an athlete can apply a given force will create more and more velocity).
  • lengthen the muscle spindles of the hamstring, creating a stretch reflex and equalling even more velocity during the second pull.
  • lead to a better bar path.

Why is more velocity important? The more kinetic energy we create in the first pull will ultimately lead to more potential energy (aka height on the barbell). For you strength and conditioning coaches, more velocity means more power – which is the reason most of you choose the clean or snatch for your program.

My good friend Spencer Arnold uses a drill called the Yo-Yo Clean to emphasize this first pull. I suggest you give it a shot!

So the keys to a solid Yo-Yo Clean are:

  • Drive your feet through the floor.
  • Stay over the bar, keeping the relationship between the shoulders and the bar as relative as possible.
  • Keep the bar close by using the lats to sweep the bar in towards the body.


  • “Whole foot through the floor”
  • “Long legs”
  • “Stay over the bar”
  • “Sweep in”

Thanks to Coach Spencer Arnold for coming up with this catchy drill!


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