Tip Tuesday || The Set Up – Clean vs Deadlift

Over the years, months, or weeks you’ve been doing CrossFit, you’ve likely picked up on most of the key points of performance for the various movements. There’s a lot to know, and with experience comes muscle memory. You probably don’t think too much about your setup for the most common lifts. But, it’s important that you take yourself off of auto-pilot and continue striving for virtuosity.


Part of the practice context for Thursday’s programming is knowing (and showing) the difference between the hip position for the clean and the deadlift. Coach Dylan shows a clear distinction between his hip positions in the clean and in the deadlift in the photos below.


In the clean, his hips are lower, shoulders slightly over the bar (stick). In the deadlift, his hips are higher, shoulders definitively over the bar. 


If he set up for a clean the way he does for a deadlift (hips higher), he’d have a harder time getting into a proper position to initiate the second pull of the clean, position 3 (hang) to position 5 (triple extension). If this is a problem for you, as it is for many, let the bar come out over the middle of your foot a bit and sit back.


In full disclosure, the hip position for both cleans and deadlifts may look different on different people based on anthropometry (i.e. limb length). Also, it is worth noting that your setup will change based on the type of deadlift you are doing — conventional, sumo, hex bar, etc. Some folks even prefer to set up for their deadlifts with a lower hip position as it helps them use more leg drive to get the weight off of the floor.


Questions? Ask one of your coaches for help!