Extend The Arms In The Pull?

In the effort to avoid bending the arms early in the pull, or in a misguided attempt to “create tension” in the starting position, you may be actively extending your arms… don’t.
The only intentional tension in the starting position and pull should be throughout the trunk, hips and legs because you’re bracing forcefully and using the legs and hips to move the bar.
The tension in the arms should be the result of you lifting your body up away from the bar. There’s no need to actively extend the arms—the resistance of the bar will stretch them out. In other words, the arms should be long in the pull not because you’re extending them, but because you’re NOT bending them.
Why does it even matter? Because extending the arms creates problems later in the lift. When we reach the top of the pull, the bar has upward momentum that’s going to continue moving it.
If the arms are stiff, the only place that momentum can move the bar is forward—it has to swing out around the shoulders.
This means imbalance, instability, a slow and usually incomplete turnover… and a lot of misses.
But, you object ardently, I’ll bend my arms to pull under correctly when it’s time!
That may be your plan, but does it actually happen? Very rarely. Stiff arms make the transition slow, which means the bar has already moved away by the time you’ve started pulling.
In any case, actively extending the arms to avoid bending them early is not solving the problem—there’s a reason it’s happening, which is an even more fundamental error, and THAT error is what needs to be fixed to improve your lifts.
Possible errors include being balanced too far forward, being too far over the bar, not actively keeping the bar close after it passes the knees, too narrow of a grip, and initiating the second pull too early.
Don’t use shortcuts that don’t even get you to where you’re trying to go—fix the actual problem.

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