1st and 2nd Pull Transition

The evening class and some CFWSC athletes getting the bar high.

The evening class and some CFWSC athletes getting the bar high.







The clean and snatch consist of 3 parts.  The 1st pull is from the ground to the hang, basically mid-thigh.  The 2nd pull is from the hang (mid-thigh) to full extension, the top of the jump shrug.  The 3rd pull starts at full extension, ends in the catch deep in the front squat, and consists not of elevating the bar like the first 2 pulls, but pulling oneself under the bar.

Although each of the pulls warrants, and receives, much study, the transition between the 1st and 2nd pulls is often one of the most confusing parts of the 2 lifts. Let’s look at it in greater detail.

There was a time, as recently as the 1950s, that the bar was not allowed to touch the legs on the clean and the snatch in competition.  The changing of this rule resulted in greater weights being lifted.  Why?  The answer lies in the explosion that occurs at the transition point.

The 1st pull ends with the bar at mid-thigh, called the hang.  The hang is nearly the same as the the set up position on the ground, except the bar is higher.  The hips are still back, hamstrings lengthened, shoulders in front of the bar, chest up, weight on the heels.  The 2nd pull, often called the jump shrug, begins here.

This point, the transition between the 1st and 2nd pulls, is often a point of confusion for athletes.  A common error is by passing the transition at the mid-thigh entirely and going directly into the jump shrug from the ground.  Another error is to pause too long at the mid-thigh hang.

The mid-thigh touch at the transition between the first two pulls is more correctly termed a re-acceleration.  As the bar moves up from the ground to the hang it accelerates.  The 2nd pull re-accelerates the bar to full extension.  The touch at mid-thigh is neither missed nor a pause.

If you imagine shifting gears from 2nd to 3rd in a car (feel free to imagine a Ferrari or Porsche because I know so many CrossFit coaches drive them), then you have the right idea.  When you shift gears, the car does not pause at all, but there is a perceptible re-acceleration.  It’s the same with the clean or the snatch.  Or, if you have only driven automatics, you can just think of it as “deadlift, jump shrug.”

Try focusing on that mid-thigh transition point.  It will make your 2nd pull all the more explosive and powerful, which leads to greater height on the barbell, which gives you more time and space to get under the bar, all of which means heavier loads.  And, folks, heavier loads is the name of the weightlifting game.  

You also won’t get sand kicked in your face at the beach, and with summer coming up, I know that is a major concern.

Schedule Change–Due to the NorCal Qualifier, there will be no Saturday 10am class.  The new 8am class will be held.

Qualifier heat times for Saturday :

Jocelyn 11:00am and 3:00pm

Kyle 10:20am and 2:20pm


30 Clean and Jerks 155/100#

Rest 5-10 minutes, then

30 Clean and Jerks 95/65#

Please post WOD completed and score to Comments.