T Nation

Learning the Re-Bend

I’ve just finished reading some posts on o-lifting, but i’m still having trouble with the re-bend.

i’m properly coached, but my coach strongly believes that with enough fast practice off the blocks, the re-bend will occur naturally. i can power clean about 130kg of blocks, but think if i could get my form down, i’d be worth alot more…

having being a long-time powerlifter, i’m strugling alot, i get to knees and just lock out, and use too much back.

anyone got tips for learning, or can describe what is happening in detail?


Hey Big R,

I can’t remember the name of the article but it is by Coach Davies, he gives the progression he uses to teach the lifts. I recommend his progression.

Think of the re-bend as the little “bounce” down you do before you jump up to block in volleyball or basketball it allows for the use of some of the elastic nature of muscle fibres and provides a slight unloading of the weight.


One of the problems that I had when I re-incorporated the o-lifts into my workouts after strictly doing powerlifting was that I used deadlift technique to start the clean. In Tate’s “Top 10 Deadlifting Mistakes” article he describes how you can use basic leverage to gain mechanical advantage, by staying behind the bar. Tip 8 = keep your shoulders behind the bar, something he mentions several times. This way your bodyweight is acting against the weight of the barbell.

When you’re cleaning, you havta keep your shoulders in front of the bar, otherwise your hips will be so close that you won’t get any kick, and most of the pull will come from your upper body (like a deadlift to power shrug). Keeping your shoulders in front of the bar will also keep the bar close to your body, which makes the catch much easier. When the bar gets to your knees, you should be in a position much more similar to an RDL than to a competition DL.

Doing cleans off the boxes, you’ll learn the proper position for beginning the 2nd pull at the knees. Your coach is right, it’s really just a matter of practicing the technique until you don’t have to think about it. Videotaping your lifts can help a great deal, all our coaches got videotaped and everyone had little technical mistakes no one had seen before. Hope that helps.

One of the few things most OL coaches agree on is that the re-bend can’t be taught. It is something which must come naturally.

The re-bend does come naturally to just about everyone if they are taught to do the lifts right. Ive taught 200+ people to clean and snatch, ranging from 8 year olds to 50+ year olds and ranging in ability from good athletes who ended up on international teams to challenged athletes who will never be able to do more than modest weights… and EVERYONE I’ve ever taught has done a re-bend of the knee within a few sessions, the vast majority the very first session. It’s virtually impossible NOT to use a double knee bend if you are hitting the correct positions at the knee and at the point of the “second pull”. If you are going to hit these positions correctly, a double knee bend just about has to happen between them… thats why it doesnt normally have to be coached, becasue if you coach the top pull correctly, and coach lifting the bar from the floor correctly, the double knee bend happens by itself.

If you are having a problem doing the double knee bend… I would look a little closer at the position you are in at the beginning of the second pull, or in other words with the bar on the upper thigh just below the family jewels, or if you have shorter arms with the bar right in your lap. This is where the second pull happens. if you are a beginner, I’d suggest starting lifts in this position, sitting there a minute and really letting your body get comfortable with it and “remember it” then slowly lower the bar by an RDL type of movement down the thigh and to the knee, then reverse direction and do a lift. Having just been in a good second pull position, you will have a lot easier time going back to it as you do the lift. when you are comfortable with this, get into your second pull position, then RDL the bar to the knees, then use knee flexion to lower the bar to the floor… touch lightly then reverse everything to do a lift. if you slowly progress down your leg with this method, using RDL to get to knees, then knee flexion to get the bar to floor… don’t get crazy, but use a good controllable tempo with the lifts, and start each lift by getting into a good, solid and correct second pull position… then i bet you will be successful in teaching yourself to lift and you will be doing a second knee bend.

Thanks for the advice guys,

i’ve gone away and thought about it, and so has my coach. what we’ve try to do know is alot of high hang work, were the re-bend would have already occured, until everything is natural.

re-assuringly, my coached talked to a few other coaches, and my problem happends to everypowerlifter apparently. Two other coaches came in to see my form, and noticed with the cue ‘hips’ i tended to finish taller, and pull my hips through, which helped the rebend.

like they say, it takes years to perfect form…