How Speed Of Pull Under Affects Receiving Depth
Let’s clear up a common misconception: pulling under a snatch or clean harder and faster does not make you receive the lift in a deeper squat—it makes you receive it higher.
Pulling against the bar with the arms does 2 primary things. First, it changes our direction sooner and moves us down under the bar faster than gravity would alone. Second, it helps preserve more of the bar’s existing upward momentum so it continues traveling higher than it would otherwise.
If we put the same upward force on the bar in the first and second pulls, that means the harder we pull with the arms under the bar, the higher the bar will continue moving and the sooner we’ll be under it in the receiving position—which in turn means the higher our squat position will be when we fix the bar overhead or on the shoulders.
Receiving a snatch or clean in a deeper squat requires elevating the bar less or taking longer to pull under. Heavier weights can’t be elevated as much, which is why we’re forced to move lower to receive them.
In order to receive lighter weights at deeper depths, we have to either not pull the bar up as hard, pull under more slowly and with less effort, or delay our pull under.
We can and should reduce the force of the first and second pulls somewhat with light weights while warming up in order to better mimic the motion of our lifts with heavier weights, but we should always be applying maximal effort and speed to the pull under the bar.
This ensures we’re always training the optimal timing of our change of direction and the aggression and speed of the pull under rather than developing bad habits that will limit our ability to lift the heaviest weights.