T Nation

2nd Pull Help



Im just getting into the oly lifts, im trying to sort myself out with a coach but in the mean time im just reading up and watching as many vids as i can.

one part im struggling to understand is the 2nd pull is the objective here to drive the bar up by jumping; emphasising the hips and thighs when you jump OR are you driving the bar up with the hips and the jump is just a result of that?

the reason i ask is ive tried both and using the jump it dosnt feel powerful enough, though im not using weight so... and with the hip drive i seem to shag that bar a bit too much?

Thanks in advanced


Maybe this will help:



For what it is worth (not a lot, admittedly)...

I thought that the idea was to transmit the force from the hip drive to the bar so that the bar goes up. So then the idea that if more force is transmitted to the bar than is necessary to move it (if the bar is too light or if there isn't a bar) then the body goes up.

When I was just learning to powerclean and trying to get the hang of hip drive I'd practice from the hang with a broomstick. Loose arms (like in rowing). Would feel a pop to the stick where it was trying to fly up. Then rinse and repeat with the bar. Then rinse and repeat with weight.

I'd be interested to know what others think.


I'd try doing cleans from the hang. Keep your back tight, your arms loose and the weight on your heels. then just stand up fast. I think that explains it more than jumping up. The rise to your toes should be such that is just a transfer of the velocity of your body rising(just like the transfer of velocity to the bar... its almost exactly the same idea) which as you reach up high, then the only way to get higher than standing up is either rising to your toes or "jumping" up with your feet pointing straight, which is bad. You are not trying to use your calves like you do when you jump.(although some do it that way and have results. The majority of lifters though mainly just use legs.. or rather upper legs and hips/back)

Its so very important that your back stays tight, your arms loose and you keep your balance on your heels(or maybe midfoot, just make sure it stays at the same spot at least). Changing any of these will cause the bar to have less of a vertical path, which wont give you the feeling of flying upwards which is what you more or less want to do with the second pull.

I'd say the hardest of these for a beginner is to keep your arms(and hands/fingers. You want your grip as loose as possible as long as the bar doesnt of course slip through your fingers and drop) loose. Even if you get them loose before you start pulling, its easy to tighten them up after you've started pulling. For most lifters your arms should only be used right AFTER the second pull, where you push yourself under the bar, not before.



The emphasis in the second pull should be hip extension and, just as important, immediate hip flexion. The object should not be to "drive the bar up by jumping". You are right to think it is a weakened position. Lifting is more like catapulting than jumping and emphasis in this country on the "jump and shrug up" model has held lifters back in the US. The major reasons for this are that when lifters try to jump to affect the bar they 1)move into the forefeet to soon and too much, leading to poor bar trajectory (more vertical or to the front) and 2) they tend to stall at the top of the 2nd pull hurting their transition speed to the receiving position.

The knee and hip extension work together to give the upward trajectory to the bar in the 2nd pull but the explosive hip extension(and quick flexion afterwards) is what puts the lifter in a better position in relation to the bar. That simply means that when the bar is accelerated by the hip extension, the lifter should immediately be in the business of getting under it, not proceeding any longer with a jumping motion. The hip/knee extension will cause most people to triple extend to some extent and jump to their final foot position for receiving the bar.

I also advise lifters not to shrug up as the completion of the 2nd pull but to use the shrug to help yourself descend.

Hope this helps.



Thanks for the explanation. I had been wondering what you thought about the role of shrugging.


*****************use the shrug to help yourself descend.

Good lifters can all pull the bar f0cking high
Elite lifterse get f0cking fast under the bar

I think Abadjiev first noticed this. He noticed all the lifters could pull the bar high, but only elite lifters were blisteringly fast under the bar.




Hey there in England and Australia(alexus).
Yeah, a thousand years ago I was taught to shrug and get high onto the toes at the top. Of course, I wasn't going to be any world beater Olympic lifter anyway (slow twitch is my life) but when someone explained the pull to me many years later, I could pretty easily do about as much as I ever cleaned without much practice.

Many U.S. lifters and coaches are still enamored with "pulling high" and if we were putting the weights up on a pantry shelf, that would be good. And, Koing, you're absolutely right that any good lifter can pull weights high. I am of the school that maintains that the trick is getting under as soon after delivering the hip extension as possible.

Guys, feel free to send me PMs if you want to talk lifting. I don't like to get into everything in forums all the time. Too much drama.

Don McCauley


while I understand the forum drama can be annoying, just a thank you (to everyone) for sharing your knowledge and experience, it is appreciated that its open for us all to read and absorb, even if you have to go through some of it with your hip waders on


Hi Don,

Hows it going?

It's good to talk about lifting. I got lifting on the brain. I feel for me the next stage is to sort my Jerk out and to get ridiculously strong. I have a few other smaller issues but the main one for me is to sort the Jerk out. Can't believe I've failed to Jerk 150 in comp about 9x last year...it's pretty f0cking poor! I walked out a lot my Cleans as if it was nothing when I was squating strong but then the Jerk was lame. Thats my biggest issue to fix.



Thanks. I appreciate it a lot :slight_smile: I like to talk lifting, too. It is a really good writing my thesis procrastination strategy. I'm still very much a beginner and not really even good enough to be doing the full lifts... But I really enjoy learning about different ways of conceptualizing what one is supposed to be up to, and also spending the time at the gym trying to get myself doing at least some of them.

I was initially attracted to Olympic Lifting because of seeing Natalie Woolfolk warming up for a competition just playing with the bar. I had a pretty bad car accident a while back and my posture etc was pretty fucked up. When I saw her I was like WOW! I wonder if I can do that? So... For me, I want to get the movement patterns right. To be able to lift beautifully (see what happens when you get girls into something? lol). But that matters to me more than numbers (though I'd be lying if I said I didn't care at all or I didn't want to get good ones some day).

My front squat is paining me the most at the moment.


Luckily if you lift beautifully chances are you're going to have pretty impressive lifts too!


Whereas I just want to absolutely dominate the lifts :smiley:

Snatch no problems
Cleans no problems
Jerks...yeah I'm working on that...now just to get my squats back up and my first pull better then I'm all set.




Well, you picked a good one to emulate. Natalie is one of the best lifters in the U.S., power and technique-wise. Keep it up and continue to ask questions.

I too, learned what girls could do in lifting when I started coaching my wife, Suzanne Leathers. She was brought to me for coaching when she was 20 yrs. old. She had never weightlifted and hadn't played sports except for a short stint on a bad(her description)field hockey team.
She eventually snatched 100kgs and cj'd 120kgs in competition, at 75kgs, made two Sr. World Teams and was alternate in the 2000 Olympics down there by you. She still amazes me.



Incredible story Coach.


Thanks. That is a wonderful story. Nice to hear you don't have to have been doing gymnastics since age 2 or have been terribly athletic prior to go on to do really well.

I played field hockey for a little bit when I was a kid. Quit when we moved from grass to the artificial turf and I managed to skin my leg / knee / face pretty badly on our first practice. Different game on the turf, too. Ball moves much faster and skill really does prevail.


I think the number one thing is that the lifter HAS TO WANT IT ENOUGH. I believe most people do not in fact want it enough.

If you want it enough you'll do whatever it takes to train, compete and do well.

Great story CoachMC!