Importance of Working From the Hang
Written by Gaje McDaniel
Any hang position in Olympic weightlifting – high hang, mid-hang, or low-hang – are all movements beneficial to developing pulling in the snatch or clean. These can be performed from the top down or down up with a pause at any position. The purpose of doing these is to eliminate any errors that may occur while pulling from the floor so that you can focus on the middle portion(s) of the lift like keeping the bar close and hitting extension.
For the snatch, the bar starts in the hip, in the clean it stays at high thigh. Keeping your chest up and driving through your legs and hips allows for us to work on our finish position. The finish is the last time we are pulling on the bar before starting to pull under. If we ever having trouble with bar path, using the high hang position allows us to emphasize points of performance.
Loading from the top down and pausing for just a second above knee, in either position allows us to eliminate the pull from the floor. Pulling from the hang position emphasizes hinging or scooping under the bar just before extension. We must pass the high-hang position before extending and reaching the finish position.
Low Hang or 2” Below Knee
This position allows us to maintain tension that we may or may not be able to recruit during our set up. Pulling from low hang allows emphasis on tension, getting our knees back, and scooping under the bar before passing the high hang position.
Taking lifts from the hang puts efficacy on different points of performance that we may miss pulling from the floor. My favorite position to drill is the high hang because it emphasizes reaching the hip or high thigh as you finish the pull. If you have ever performed the “Burgener Warm-Up”, you’ll see that it is all simplified into that one position and it drills our high hang over and over again. Try it out in your next Olympic lifting warm-up!
3x each from the high hang
Snatch Shrugs (shoulders behind ears – arms straight)
Snatch Pulls (elbows high and outside)
Muscle Snatch (snappy turnover – punch bar behind ears)
Snatch Land 2” (fast feet)
Snatch Land 4# (fast feet)
Snatch Land Full Depth (fast feet)
Hang Power Snatch (jump and land)
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