Arm Bend In Snatch & Clean Pulls?

It’s common in snatch and clean pulls for athletes to lock the arms straight, but this is problematic for three primary reasons.
First, it makes it very likely the bar will be forced away from the body at the top of the pull as its momentum makes it pivot out around the shoulders.
Second, to prevent that swinging with stiff arms, athletes will often reduce the force of the pull, meaning less power and speed development.
Third, it removes the chance to learn and practice the proper timing of the transition to the arm action for the competition lifts.
We can train the transition, proximity and power we want in the competition lifts by simply performing some minimal bend of the arms when we do pulls.
The point is to put maximal force on the bar, actively guide it up against the body and train the fluid continuation of its motion and speed as we change what part of the body is doing the work.
Unless you’re doing a high-pull, this shouldn’t be a maximal effort to pull the bar as high as possible with the arms—just guide the bar where you want it to go with the momentum the lower body has given it.
This bend also allows you to gauge how well you’ve accelerated the bar—more height means more speed. With very heavy pulls, it will be extremely minimal bend.
Initiate the pull with the arms only after the legs and hips have completed their extension and the bar has reached its maximal speed.
Finally, make sure the elbows are turned out and you lift them up and out just as you would to initiate the pull under a snatch or clean.

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