Vertical Leg Drive In The Pull
Vertical leg drive in the snatch and clean helps provide both elevation and direction on the barbell.
Picture a vertical line running through your shoulder, hip and ankle. As you extend in the pull, your hips should move forward into this line and then up along it—they should not cross through it. If the hips move through this line, you’re losing upward acceleration and putting more horizontal force into the bar.
The hips will be hyperextended at least slightly, but this is done by bringing the shoulders behind the hips, not by pushing the hips forward through our imaginary vertical line.
We don’t control the hip position by being less aggressive with hip extension, but by ensuring the legs are driving vertically as we extend the hips.
This vertical drive not only helps accelerate and elevate the bar, but guides it in the right direction, maintains your balance, and helps keep the bar closer to the body after contact.
In other words, that vertical push is what allows us to be maximally explosive while directing that force productively.
To help improve your leg drive and timing, practice snatch and clean pulls, snatch and clean from power position, snatch and clean with no jump, or a complex of any of those.