Find Your Pulling Stance For The Snatch & Clean

The primary criterion for the pulling stance is how it influences the effectiveness of the second pull.

Stand with your heels under your hips so the legs are vertical and turn your toes out to a comfortable degree, approximately 10-30 degrees from the centerline.

Lifting with the toes straight forward has been shown to reduce weight in the lifts, and being turned out helps keep the knees better aligned when pushed out in the pull.

However, turning the toes out too much reduces the depth of the lifter’s base and makes balance more difficult, and can reduce the ability to produce force in the pull.

The closer the legs are to vertical when extended, the more completely the drive against the ground is transmitted to the bar; as the legs angle out more with a widening stance, more of the force is lost. A vertical stance also creates maximal bar elevation by virtue of standing height.

However, these are not dramatic differences, and the more hip-dominant an athlete’s pull, the less this leg orientation matters.

Our next concern is how the stance influences the starting position and first pull—an optimal second pull can’t actually be optimal if the first pull is significantly disrupted. The stance must allow the proper posture, back extension and balance in the starting position and first pull.

Lifters who are tall, heavy, less mobile and/or weaker off the floor will typically find a wider, more toed-out stance more effective.

Ultimately each lifter needs to experiment to find the optimal stance for their proportions, strengths and weaknesses, and technical style.

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