The Bulgarian bag rotational clean is the transverse plane version of the traditional sagittal plane clean. The technique is very similar except there will be some thoracic rotation and you’ll need to have your feet close together allow room for the bag to swing outside of the legs. Remember to wait for the bag to pass the legs before you hinge and use a powerful hip drive to swing the bag forwards and upwards. This movement is a hybrid exercise that combines the rotational clean with the rotational overhead press.

Teaching Points

  1. Stand with your feet close together with the bag resting against your legs and the main handles pointing upwards.
  2. Hinge the hips whilst keeping your chest proud and core braced, your torso should be at a 30–45-degree angle with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Grab the bag by the main handles keeping your shoulders packed down and a straight line between crown and coccyx.
  4. Keep your arms locked out and swing the bag back past the outside of the legs absorbing the force into your hips.
  5. Drive the bag forward with a powerful 45 degree hip drive, after the bag has passed the outside of the legs shrug your shoulders whilst drawing your elbows upwards.
  6. Once the bag reaches chest height, immediately drop your elbows under the bag and gently catch the bag in the rack position.
  7. Keep the core braced, glutes tight and shoulders packed down.
  8. Press the bag vertically overhead and simultaneously rotate through the thoracic, rotate the hips and let the back foot pivot on the ball of the foot (squish the bug).
  9. At the top of the movement extend the elbows so your arms lock out and put your head ‘through the window’.
  10. To initiate the downward phase, fire up the lats and actively pull the bag back into the rack position and return to front facing position.
  11. Repeat the movement.

Common Problems & Solutions

Error: Locking the hips into full extension or hyperextension while allowing the bag to drift behind or out to the side of the body.
Correction: Keep the hips soft in a small amount of flexion with the chest lifted to ensure the core musculature is activated. Ensure the bag is stabilised directly above the shoulder joint.