Exercise Library: Clean & Snatch Pulls



Clean/snatch pulls are a strength building exercise that still focuses on power production. The basic premise is a clean/snatch deadlift will full extension & shoulder shrug at the top of the pull. Adding the extension portion of the movement works on speed, power & balance for the full lift. The reason this article covers both clean and snatch pulls is that the execution is the same besides the grip width.


  • Set up in your clean/snatch start position

  • Initiate the pull, pushing hard in to the floor through your whole foot, shifting slightly back as the bar comes up

  • Keep your back at the same angle from the floor to just above your knee, and your shoulders infront of the bar until mid thigh

  • At the mid thigh/power position fully and aggressively extend your legs, bar making contact at or near hip, up on to your toes

  • Arms remain relaxed but the shoulders should be shrugged upward at the top of the extension

Throughout the pull the bar remains close to the body, shrugging the shoulders helps to keep the bar close after the hip contact. The bar will be travelling vertically as much as possible, with a small backward lean of the body at the top of the pull to maintain balance.




Pulls can be used for strength at weights heavier than the lifters best clean/snatch (but not so heavy that you can't extend quickly on to the toes). As a strength exercise we program these as the last heavy exercise in the program, generally 4-5 sets of 2-5 reps up to about 110% of your clean/snatch - if the bar is still moving quickly.


You can also use pulls as a step in learning the full lifts, as it helps with timing of the hip contact, shrug and arm movement. This can be done whilst learning or before full cleans as a technique primer.


Pulls can also be done from blocks or hang, see our article on block snatches which discusses why to use blocks. Pulls can also be done with pauses at various stages, which can be used to strengthen these paused positions as well as the timing and correct path of the pull.


- Team Canterbury Strength