Extreme Fitness Brighton

Extreme Fitness Brighton

February 14th, 2013 at 9:35 am

5 Reasons Why High Pulls Kick ASS!

5 Reasons why High Pulls Kick Ass!


Barbell High pulls tend to be my choice when developing explosiveness in my athletes. Some coaches still stick to the standard Olympic lifts and although these can still be warranted in some cases 90% of the time a better training response can be gained with the high pull and the weighted jumping squat and other plyometric methods


1-High pulls require very little technical skill. The Olympic lifts and derivatives such as clean; snatch and jerk require many hours of practice to nail the technicalities of each lift correctly. High pulls condition the posterior chain in the same way without hours of coaching to perfect technique. Athletes (even pro ones) have limited time- they need to get rolling with a technique that has gains from the first session not months down the line when eventually the skill has improved to a level where suitable weight loads can be used. Coaches have to remember they aren’t training Olympic lifters but athletes that people short on time to devote to conditioning training.


2-More weight can be used- if we are looking for optimal power gain through the posterior chain we don’t want the athletes weights inhibited by lack of technique such as the above point or having to stabilize the weight into a snatch or catch in the clean.  This isn’t to say sometimes this is appropriate but for the most ‘bang for the buck’ we want the maximal weight possible loading the hamstrings, glutes and spinal extensors to create powerful extension.


3-With the high pull there is less chance of injury to the athlete. In more technical lifts such as the snatch even the clean due to the technicalities of each lift there is more chance of injury to the athlete- something we are directly trying to avoid! If you’ve injured the athlete, or they have injured themselves then you’ve detracted from performance not added to it.


4- Continuing on the point above there is less stress on the wrists. Many individuals find the catch position in the clean very bad for their wrists and have to develop sufficient wrist and finger flexibility to do this lift safely.


5- a less mobile athlete can still perform the exercises. Not all athletes as you may think are highly mobile and flexible. I’ve seen many really good individuals with horrific mobility issues and the Olympic lifts are really not for them. Good flexibility through the ankle, hips, thoracic spine and shoulder girdle are essential if you are to conduct the Olympic lifts in good form. With the high pull  only a standard level of mobility is needed.


This is why with the majority of the individuals I train when we are working on explosive power as our primary goal I favour the high pull over the true Olympic lifts. Depending on the athlete there will also be a combination of Weighted jumping squats, splits lunges and box jumps etc.- but the same if not better and safer training response can be gained in a much shorter period of time with these methods



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