T Nation

Bar to Body Contact


Hey Guys:

This is probably a stupid question, but...

At what points, during the pull-portion of the olympic lifts, should the bar be in contact with the body? I've read that you want the bar to brush your hips as you explode in the 2nd pull, but does that imply/mean that the bar is not in contact with your legs up until that point?

I've been consciously trying to keep the bar in light contact with my body throughout the whole pull movement. However, is this necessary? Is it okay to merely ensure the bar is not drifting significantly away from the body? I feel like a less stringent (than the one I've been using) take on the, "keep the bar as close to your body as possible" philosophy might lead to me being more easily able to increase the speed of my pull...

Any light shed on this matter would be appreciated.




the ideal would be that it just barely doesn't touch your body, that would eliminate the friction force. if it barely touches your body i'd imagine there's some friction but because its slightly closer you might be able to put more force to the bar. I don't know which is best and it doesn't matter much either. I think it takes tens of thousands of repetitions anyway before you can do the same pull over and over again and be able to keep the bar almost exactly say... 1mm away from your body. The important thing is to keep it close to you and make sure its not scraping your legs too hard cause that would slow it down.


The bar should be close to the legs but not touching your legs until about the hip for the Snatch and mid/ upper thigh for the Clean depending on how long your arms are and how wide your grip is.

I haven't seen a lifter make contact along the thighs throughout the thigh. This is just taking the keeping it close to extreme. The bar shouldn't run up your thighs making contact along it!

Keep it close and drive your hips in and stay over the bar. The RESULT OF THIS will end up making contact with the bar with your hips for the Snatch, mid/ upper thighs for Cleans.



it isn't a deadlift. you don't have to drag it up your legs Ripptoe fashion. since the early part of the lift is never limiting you don't even need to aspire for the mechanically efficient bar path of a deadlift (in the sense of keeping it really very close indeed). off the floor is just about setting things up for the explosion.

just thought i'd say this since for quite some time i couldn't figure why i needed to tape my bleeding legs and other people could get away with lycra shorts...