T Nation

Need Below Knee Drills...


Posted this on the Pendlay forum as well.

So here's the deal. I feel very proficient in the snatch and clean whenever I do hang drills... anything from high hang, mid-thigh, or above knee. The lifts just seem to come easy for me at those points, and the bar tracks quite well, and I always land in a very stable squat (i.e. on my heels). The bar just flings up from these positions.

However, whenever I snatch or clean from the floor, it doesn't 'click' for me during the 2nd pull, and the lift is usually left in front or some power is sacrificed due to poor bar tracking. I can snatch 100kg from the hang, but I consistently miss it from the floor (or catch it forward) because the technique changes somehow.

I was thinking some snatches/cleans from below knees on the blocks could do me some good... or maybe some certain cues to help me get into the position I need to for the 2nd pull. I could really use some help and I've been stuck at a 110kg snatch for a few months now, and I have the strength and power for a 120 or even 125kg snatch. Thanks in advance.


Im in the same boat as you. Although i can lift about the same weights from the floor/hang/blocks. I do seem much more consistent from positions above the knees then from the floor. I have been doing a lot of my block/hang work from below the knees lately, and although im still more comfortable from above, going below the knee transfers over to the classic lifts better.

just keep plugging away and practice doing lifts from the LOW hang, like 1-2 inches from the platform until it all feels pretty much the same.

But i would love to get some others POV as its also something i need to work on. If i could i would lift from the blocks in competition i would :wink:


I too am in the same boat. Sail away captain. lol. I think my problem is technique and flexibility(or weak lower back). I can have a much bigger arc if I do lifts from the hang which allows me to stay over the bar a lot longer but there's also the technique from the floor where I don't keep the bar close enough(and when I do my shins get raped). If I keep the bar close during the whole lift then it flies up with the 2nd pull like nothing. But that seems to happen in one out of 100 of my snatches.

I'd just keep at it, lift from the hang, lift from a bit lower a bit lower and then from the floor. Something like that.


From Pendlay.

"Your best bet to solve this is to do lifts from the floor, but with a 3-5 second pause right below the kneecap. This will fix your particular problem."


The answer is simple guys



The people that are better from above the knees tend to have done less lifting from the floor and are thus less comfortable. Longer distance for the bar to travel more time for the bar to deviate from the 'best line'.

Drop all the hang stuff and do the lifts from the floor. Do pulls to mid thigh and make sure you can move the bar from floor to mid thigh properly. 4reps x 4-5sets. Use about 100% of your lifts.

As always a less then perfect setup (first pull) will always make it harder for a good 2nd pull.



that's all good and dandy but I really don't do too much from the hang


Hi there. I recently got back to lifting after a major knee surgery and suffered from the same issue. I know you guys might be experienced lifters and therefore less likely to have problems with the first pull, but a lot of things can really mess it up. I don't know whether it was a strength or a mobility issue with me, but doing a lot of pulls to to the knee (and not an inch above) before my actual lifts got me trough it. I still don't feel quite comfortable during the first pull, but I've stopped thinking about it as a requirement.


After a 9month break from lifting after I hurt my back my first pull has NEVER been the same. It's changed a lot. I use to do a much more dynamic pull but that has gone as the back can't take it.

My first pull is different now.

Just hammer the pulls to mid thigh and keep working at it.



Sometimes we would have people do about a 1-2 inch lift-offs with a 1-2 second pause to help this sort of thing. Do that then reset and do the full lift. I found this helps getting the lift as close to what form you want from the start so there's less chance of deviation after...but scrolling through it looks like GP says about the same. Maybe a video would help?


from Coach Don...


ONe of the drills in my teaching progression is a partial dead lift done from the Set position, leaving the floor just as youi would a clean or snatch and extending the knees until the bar is high on the thigh. The important thing here is that you tilt your torso over as the bar rises towards its position on the thighs, just as you would in a correct clean or snatch pull.

You then hold the bar against your thighs at the high position for a second or two and retrrace your movements back to the Set.

To be clear, the knee extension should be just short of complete, such as you might for the start of an RDL. This tends to teach the body/brain how much you can really extend the knees in the first pull, as well as allowing you to practice your sweep, change of balance on your feet, tilt.

I have found this leads to lifters "staying with the 1st pull" longer, which is going to positively affect the amount lifted.

Hope this helps.


I'm assuming he's talking about this? http://cathletics.com/exercises/exercise.php?exerciseID=186