One of the necessities in weightlifting is the ability to maintain a firm extended back. I know this because this is one of my greatest struggles and has always been my greatest weakness. Long torsos aren’t the easiest to get strong and keep strong. Over the last five years or so we have spent hours upon hours strengthening the hip and back position to allow for more firmness in the first pull. If you’ve watched any of my max effort lifts you’ll see that my lower back caves as I start the lift. This inability to maintain a strong firm back causes me to lose power and ultimately decreases the ability I have to create more bar speed. Every time my back rounds or softens at all I am taking away power from my leg drive.
Here is a good example of this problem in one of my max effort lifts.
Recently one of the big revelations we found in my training is that some eccentric, isometric, and tempo work in the hip and back is crucial for my overall back strength. Moving slowly to the ground for pulls or holding in strong in a weak point have been huge for my growth in this area. The following video is pretty simple. We all do high pulls or first pulls from the floor. If you have been around weightlifting at all you know that traditionally we just drop the weight from the top. What I found is that you are literally robbing yourself of some good tempo or isometric work. Here is a video of a five second count back down to the floor before continuing into a high pull. If you have hip and back weakness, this might be an exercise was experimenting with. Try taking five seconds to get back to the floor, tap, and then continue right back in your high pull for all your pulls in the future. Or at the very least control the bar back down so that you place the bar on the floor. There is good work in taking the bar to the floor instead of dropping it. My bet is you’ll see a significant increase in back strength. Give it a shot!
Snatch High Pull + Tempo Return