Squat The Pull From The Floor
The first pull of the snatch and clean has its own complications and nuances, but it doesn’t have to be THAT complicated.
The most common mistake is over-extending the legs and leaning way too far over the bar.
This can be because the athlete thinks the knees have to move back more than they do to get out of the way, believes the pull is all about hip extension, has relatively weak legs, or rushes the break from the floor without adequate control of posture.
In any case, the first pull should essentially be a squatting motion but without extending the hips.
Think of moving the body up without changing the back angle. Push evenly through the whole foot and keep the knees out to the same degree they start in until the bar passes them.
If you’re struggling to understand or get a feel for the motion, try some first pull squats. Set up as you would normally for a back squat, but with your feet in your pulling stance.
Squat down to a bottom position in which the shoulders are in line with the knees, and the hips are approximately level with the knees to imitate the back angle of a snatch or clean starting position.
Ensure even whole foot balance, and push straight up with the legs without changing the back angle until the shins are slightly short of vertical.
A pause at the top and/or bottom can be added to further strengthen the posture.
Next, progress to a snatch or clean deadlift to above the knee, again focusing on pushing through the whole foot and keeping the same back angle through the motion.
Finally, use a slow-pull snatch or clean to integrate that first pull motion into the complete lift.