It goes without saying that pulls and Olympic style deadlifts and high pulls are a common and often necessary part of Olympic lifting programming. Mimicking the bar track off the floor through the second pull especially is good for lifters who struggle with posterior chain strength and struggle with different parts of their bar path. However there are times when high pulls and pulls can become detrimental to a lifter’s success on the platform.
The purpose of a pull is that the bar track would mimic that of the perfect snatch or clean. I know this seems like common sense but often times we put the cart before the horse and trying to put more weight on our pulls at the cost of perfect movement. A pull that is not performed with perfection not only does not help your lifting but it actually begins to create bad habits that will translate over to the full lifts.
Below I have included a video of this exact thing happening. Today in our Olympic lifting class the complex we were completing was two high pulls in succession followed immediately by full snatch or clean. What you’ll see in this video is a full snatch that exactly mimics a previously performed high pull. However, the high pull was performed improperly and the faults created find their way into the full lift immediately after. Take a look at the video to see what I’m talking about.
The bottom line is that if you’re going to do pulls specifically if you’re going to do heavy pulls make sure those pulls are beneficial. Make sure they exactly mimic the bar track and body movement you’re trying to achieve at a max effort weight. Who cares what you can high you can pull. If you don’t do it the right way your work on those movements will be for nothing.
Emily Kelp High Pull vs Full Movement Comparison