Don’t Let Your Torso Pull You Off the Ground – Technique for More Weight

August 20, 2017

As always… we want to add more weight to our snatch and clean. Mmm… Sweet PRs! Here is a thinking point for you to review in your lifts and see if you have any area for improvement.

Let your legs drive your torso! As always, it is easiest to explain this with a video…



What do you mean, “Let the legs drive the torso?”

When we reach the hip during a snatch or clean it is now time for the infamous “drive!” How we execute the “drive” is vital to two things.

  1. How much force we’re able to get into the bar
  2. How we’re able to change direction to receive the bar

To get the most force into the bar we must use our legs to drive into the floor at this final position. During this drive from our legs into the floor the torso/back extend from the leg drive.

Often, athletes will miss time this drive, and their torso/back will activate too soon. This is what we at Project Lift refer to as the “torso leading the legs.” And, often the result is the athlete being pulled into the air with the bar.

A couple frustrating things happen when we’re pulled into the air at the drive.

  1. We can no longer apply force into the bar. (We’re just two objects floating in space)
  2. The speed at which we’re able to change direction slows down. (It is a race against gravity)

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How Do I See this in My Lifts?

Take a video of your lift from a 45-degree angle from the front. At the drive slow the video down and look to see if you get tugged into the air…

In the images above you can see a float (often our torso/back pulling us into the air) and an image where the athlete has driven but is still able to apply force into the ground.

This is what you’re looking for and it is an opportunity for some work.

What Drills Can Help?

I really like full lifts off boxes or from the hang at the knee. This takes away momentum from the floor and can give the athlete an edge at focusing on the drive and changing direction.

As anything in weightlifting… this isn’t an easy change… and yes, it will be frustrating. However, if you make the correction and you’re able to apply more force into the bar and change direction faster… HELLO PR!



This is a guest post from Drew Dillon, head coach and co-founder of Project Lift during his lifting career as
 an athlete Drew placed as high as 4th at a USA Weightlifting Nationals and is a personal coach to 2012 Olympian Holley Mangold. He is also know as a weber grill snob and will routinely ask you "what is for dinner" during training. You can follow Drew on Instagram and YouTube.

DON’T LET YOUR TORSO PULL YOU OFF THE GROUND – TECHNIQUE FOR MORE WEIGHT #crossfit