Olympic Lifts from the High Hang/Power Position

One of my all time favorite variations of the Olympic lifts is to perform the lift by starting from the high hang or power position (Figure 1). The power position is your “launch point” during your pull. This is where the transition from first pull to the explosive second pull ends. When an athlete is picking the bar off the floor to perform a snatch or clean, the bar speed steadily accelerates on a path that allows the athlete to get into the power position where they will initiate the most explosive and violent portion of the movement to accelerate the bar upward (second pull). Failure to get into the power position during the lift will result in the bar being launched forward, resulting in an inefficient lift or a complete miss.

Figure 1: Power position

If you or an athlete, or you coach an athlete, who is consistently initiating their second pull early, slow under the bar, bending the arms early, and/or jumping forward to the catch position (typically a side effect of all of these issues), performing lifts from the high hang/power (or from high pull blocks) position are a great way to eliminate those faults in your lifts and increase your ability to generate force from this position.

Points of Performance

Start position:

  • Knees bent
  • weight balanced over the middle of the foot
  • Shoulders back behind the bar
  • Engage the lats.

Performing the lift:

  • Do NOT drop the chest
  • Keep the arms straight until you’ve finished extension are ready to pull under the bar
  • Emphasize triple extension and the shrug

In Strength,

Coach Matt Cooper

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