The Proper Mid-Thigh Launch Position
Written by Cody Burgener

In my previous blog post, we talked about the proper high hang position and the purpose for why we snatch or clean from the high hang. In Part 2 of this 3 Part series, I want to talk about the mid thigh/launch/hang position. This is a crucial position because this is the position where you start turning on the jets to explode into your finish position.

The first thing I want to talk about are the points of performance that we look for when getting our athletes into the proper position.

– Lets start with the feet; your weight needs to be back on your heels. Try to stay as flat footed as possible; when you are teaching clients for the first time, over exaggerate it a little bit so they get the feeling of being back on their heels.

– Next, the knees; you want to have a slight bend in your knees with your knees stacked over the ankle joint.

– The final piece is the torso; you want to have your chest and shoulders over the bar with a slight arch in your back. One key thing that you must to do, especially with heavy weight, is keeping your lats engaged. This helps to keep the bar close to your body and not letting it hang away from your body. A key factor to this position is that you are trying to counter balance the weight; in other words, you are trying to not let the weight pull your forward. That is why you have push your hips back and shift the weight back to your heels.

There are quite a few mistakes that you will see when people try to snatch and clean from this position. One of the biggest ones you will see is people being pulled forward as they go down to this position.

In this photo, Coach Cody is way too forward and on his toes.

In other words, their weight is getting shifted to the ball of their foot instead of back on their heels. The weight is trying to pull you forward and down, so by shifting your weight to far forward, you are already letting the weight win by pulling your forward. As a result of this you will be jumping forward and swinging the bar away from you. You will be trying to catch up to the bar instead of being able to pull your body down and around the bar.

Another mistake you will see quite a bit of is a client bending their knees to much.

In this photo, Coach Cody has his knees bent too much.

The disadvantage of this is that when you start to accelerate into your finish position, the weight will be to far forward on your feet when you get to the high hang position. You have to remember when you snatch or clean from the launch position, at some point you are going to get pass through your high hang position.  That high hang position needs to be exactly the same as I stated in my previous blog post. It will also be hard for the client to reach their finish position, which is also means triple extension (extension of the ankles, knees, and hips). It will be hard for the client to get extension on the knees and hips. Clients will also get more of a bang and swing with the bar when it makes contact with their hips, instead of a brush and up.

Another mistake that you might see with people that bend their knees to much is not having their chest or shoulders over the bar. This will cause the weight to shift forward on your feet and the weight will pull your forward.  This is another position that makes it difficult to get to your finish position because of the weight already pulling your forward.

In conclusion, the mid thigh/launch/hang position is another position that is crucial to get into properly. Like in the high hang position, if you don’t get into the proper position, the outcome of your lift can be something you are not happy with.

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Mary DeHart
Mary DeHart
September 15, 2014 11:58 am

All good stuff Cody…except what happens when your hands are super sweaty and the bar launches forward out of your hands landing a few feet ahead of you. Not saying that happened to me today,just asking for a friend.

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