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A lot of people have asked me how they know if they are in the right starting position for the snatch or clean.  Recently one of the cool ways I have helped folks find their starting position is by looking at their position at the knee.  In the first pull, the goal is for the angle between the shoulders and the hips to not change.  So essentially we don’t want to see the back angle shift at all from the floor to the top of the knee.
Here’s a couple good videos of the back angle changing as well as a video of the back angle remaining the same through the first pull.
Consistent Back Angle
Changing Back Angle
Because we know that the back angle needs to stay consistent through the first pull that makes it easy to find our back angle for the start.  Simply get set in a really good position at the top of the knee with all the weight in the your heels.  THEN while maintaining the same back angle, push your knees forward, shift the weight in your foot closer to the front of the foot, and keep the back tight.  If you were able to maintain the perfect angle from the hang (top of the knee) to the floor then you will find yourself in the perfect starting position.  Especially those of us with longer torsos, this is pivotal as it allows us to really use our leverage rather than taking it away in the first pull.
Notice the same back angle here between his start and the top of his knee.
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If you’r struggling finding a good starting position just put the bar in the perfect spot at the top of the knee and hold it to the floor.