This month on Ask Coach Lance we address an important topic that is relevant to anyone who has ever lifted a barbell. We cover a technique that has likely frustrated every one of you at one point or another with many of you probably still struggling with it to this day: the always required, endlessly tricky "bump".
Our question comes from none other than Coach Gonzo who requested that Coach Lance give some pertinent details as to why the "bump" is so important. Can people get away with performing movements without it? Do we really need to bump?
Let's take a look at Coach Gonzo's questions and get this issue resolved once and for all.
"Here’s one for you, me, and ANYONE who has ever lifted a barbell.
After becoming certified through your weight lifting program, can you please elaborate to our audience WHY it’s so important to incorporate “The Bump” into our clean and jerks? A.k.a “GTO” for most of us.
Also, how can one become MORE BADASS at executing this, consistently, every time, without failure? “
Thank you for the questions Coach Gonzo! Now, take it away Coach lance!
I LOVE this question! For the first part of the question, there is a pretty simple reason as to why the “bump” is such an important part of the clean/power clean. It’s all about force production. If you were asked to lift the most amount of weight possible and were given a choice of two different sets of muscle groups to choose from which of the following would you choose?
1 – Biceps, lats, and traps?
2 – Glutes, quads, hips, calves?
Unless you look like this guy, you are going to go with second group of muscles because they are significantly stronger and generally more “powerful” from a fast twitch perspective, right? That’s why we want to make sure we facilitate the “bump” in every clean. We want to recruit our larger and more powerful muscle groups to do most of the work.
For the second part of the question, “how do we execute this consistently?”, it gets a little more complicated.
Let’s start at the start with the starting position.
The most common mistakes we see in the starting position are –
Here is an example of a poor starting position with the hips much too high and the back not set.
From the starting position we want to push our knees out and hips back to stay “over” the bar while maintaining the back angle and pulling the barbell off the ground.
Once the bar passes the knees we accelerate the bar into the second pull, squeeze our glutes, quads, calves, shrug our shoulders, and pop our elbows (in that specific order) in the second pull to generate power. Here is where the magic of the bump comes in as the barbell contacts our upper thigh.
From there we complete extension and pull under the bar.
The full progression looks like this:
When executed correctly the bar should feel like it is floating into the front rack position as opposed to feeling like it is being reverse curled into that position.
That is the basic overview of the process and how to leverage the power of the “bump” every time. We could go into a LOT more detail on each one of these and if you are interested in diving deeper 1:1 sessions are an excellent way to quickly improve technique!
In conclusion here is an example of this all put together in a video from Oleksiy Torokhtiy (Olympic Gold Medalist).
Let me know if you have any specific questions in the comments and get after that “bump” on EVERY clean! 😊
Thanks Coach Lance! If this hasn't convinced you not to dump the bump, I don't know what will. As we coaches often say, it's quality over quantity. Not only is it worth it to put the extra effort in to learn the proper method, your body will let you know over time that you're doing it wrong. Chronic pain and injury is the only result you will see if you continue with your bump-less movements. If you don't know how to bump, now is the time to learn. Putting in the hard work to learn correct form and technique is an investment in yourself and it will ensure you have many healthy and prosperous years of training ahead.
Until next time! See you in the Boom Room!
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Coach Loni also runs the LFT blog, bringing you informative, uplifting and motivating articles and videos to help you achieve your goals and live your best life.