Pulling early is a common error in both the snatch and the clean that can cause positional errors in the transition/”3rd pull” phase as well as the receiving position. When conceptualizing the lifts to both new and seasoned athletes, we describe the pulling phases of the lift (ground to extension) as simply standing up at attention as hard as possible. This places the emphasis on pushing vertically with the legs as opposed to hitting the barbell horizontally with the hips.
In this instance, we can see a little bit of forward travel as a result of an early extension from the mid thigh. To clean up the timing of the extension, the lifter must:
✅Extend through the LEGS and not the HIPS
✅Keep pressure through the feet
✅Be patient; Get barbell to waist at extension*
*Top of extension/”2nd pull” should mimic the barbell positioning (hip/thigh) with lifter standing up straight with straight arms and proper grip width. Snatch grip resting position should be at the hip crease. Since clean grip is naturally more narrow, it will lower the final positioning of the barbell in a standing position.
Some signs that indicate an early pull are:
❌Forward weight transfer in the hang position
❌”Contact” with the bar at low, mid, or upper thigh
❌Jumping forward through the lift
One drill that can remedy this situation is a Snatch Jump from the Start Position. These can be done from various positions (hang, power position) — This drill will force the athlete to feel the timing of a proper extension!