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Monday, May 29, 2023

The Variations Between Hip Contact vs. Thigh Contact in Weightlifting

In some ways, the game of weightlifting is like skipping rocks: In case you aimlessly chuck a rock out into the water, it’ll hit with a definite plunk and sink proper to the underside. However should you get low and sling it accurately, that very same rock will skim and bounce throughout the floor as if it weighed nothing in any respect.

If you wish to make an ultra-heavy barbell really feel totally weightless, timing and speak to are every part. Brute power will get you someplace, certain, however finesse can actually assist you to go the space. 

A weightlifter lifting a barbell overhead.
Credit score: William Johnson / BarbellStories

To stage up your efficiency on the weightlifting platform, it’s essential to perceive the variations between hip and thigh contact: What they’re, why it issues, and how you can do it correctly. Right here’s how you can skip a rock. 

Weightlifting is — technically, not less than — a contact sport. Whether or not you’re performing the snatch or the clear & jerk, the barbell should come into contact together with your legs or hips sooner or later. This isn’t a standardized technical rule, nevertheless it’s one thing that each weightlifter strives for on the competitors platform. 

Hip Contact

Hip contact is strictly what it feels like; a collision between the barbell and the athlete’s hips. Once you try to vault a loaded barbell from the ground to over your head, your finest wager is to get that barbell as near your hips — the supply of most of your energy manufacturing — as attainable earlier than you launch it.

A weightlifter in the World Championship.
Credit score: William Johnson / BarbellStories

Doing so will enhance your leverage and in addition assist you to preserve a good and constant bar path. Hip contact is utilized virtually universally in the course of the snatch, however some athletes could make it work once they clear. 

Thigh Contact

Alternatively, thigh contact entails connecting the barbell together with your higher leg proper earlier than you progress into your second pull (intentionally extending your decrease physique to impart power into the barbell).

[Read More: What It Really Means To Be A Hip Or Knee-Dominant Lifter]

In the end, the purpose of thigh contact is identical as hip contact. You need to get the bar as shut as attainable to the joints that create power. On this case, your hips and knees. Most weightlifters use hip contact in the course of the pulling part of the clear & jerk. If a weightlifter makes thigh contact once they snatch, it’s usually thought of a technical mistake that the athlete ought to attempt to right. 

The Significance of Grip Width

Whereas there are a number of elements that contribute as to whether you make hip or thigh contact — such because the carry you’re performing, the size of your arms relative to your torso, or the way you cue your self when in movement — none matter as a lot as your grip width

Consider it this manner: Throughout each the snatch and clear, your arms don’t truly do something apart from bodily hyperlink the barbell to your physique. Since each actions are lower-body-dominant, your arms ought to stay virtually totally relaxed, with little to no bend in your elbows, all through the snatch and clear pulls. 

A coach gripping a barbell overhead.

[Read More: The Best Grip Strengtheners On the Market]

Due to this fact, how large or slender you maintain the barbell together with your hook grip impacts the place it makes contact in your physique. A large snatch grip ought to consequence within the barbell coming neatly into the crease of your hips. To comfortably rack the bar in your shoulders within the entrance rack place throughout a clear, it’s essential to use a slender grip. This usually ends in a decrease level of contact in your thighs. 

That is exactly why hip contact is integral to the snatch as a lot as thigh contact happens in the course of the clear & jerk (although there are some exceptions). They aren’t essentially targets you purpose for; every is a consequence of how you need to maintain the barbell within the first place. 

The place and the way you make contact with the barbell in the course of the snatch or clear will strongly influence your potential to make profitable lifts. In case you’re making contact within the incorrect place — or worse, by no means — you’re leaving loads of kilos on the desk. 

When to Use Hip Contact

Try to make crisp and constant hip contact if you carry out the snatch. That is partly as a result of standards of the snatch itself (you could get the bar over your head in a single swift movement with a large grip), however correct hip contact additionally permits you to make the most of the complete potential of your decrease physique. 

Nevertheless, there is a vital caveat right here: Hip contact is probably the most mechanically environment friendly technique of imparting upward power into the barbell, and athletes with exceptionally brief arms could possibly get the bar up into their hips once they carry out the clear. 

[Read More: Tips To Pull Under the Bar Faster in Olympic Lifting]

If you are able to do so with out screwing up your pulling approach, go for it. Nevertheless, if you need to power hip contact within the clear by considerably bending your elbows, you’re doing extra hurt than good. Early arm bend, because it’s referred to as, could decelerate the velocity of the bar or stop you from correctly utilizing your legs. 

When to Use Thigh Contact

It might be mechanically suboptimal, however virtually all weightlifters will discover themselves utilizing thigh contact once they carry out the clear. This limitation is strictly resulting from your grip width; holding the barbell too large will stop you from establishing a good entrance rack place.

Making contact with the barbell is an integral side of sound weightlifting approach. Nevertheless, in some circumstances, there’s advantage to deliberately avoiding it. No-contact lifts are sometimes utilized in coaching periods to assist a weightlifter tackle sure points of their approach.

For instance, you’ll have the dangerous behavior of slamming your hips into the barbell if you make contact within the snatch. This tends to trigger the barbell to loop outward as a substitute of flying straight up. 

[Read More: Everything You Need to Know About How to Increase Strength]

In that case, intentionally performing a no-contact snatch may help you establish what a good, vertical bar path truly appears like. Carry out the snatch as you often would, however keep away from touching the bar to your physique at any level.

Stopping bar-body collision reduces your power output and slows down the barbell’s momentum as nicely. As such, no-contact lifts encourage you to make use of your higher physique extra actively than you in any other case would. A no-contact snatch or clear is a viable accent train for an athlete who struggles to make use of their arms correctly in the course of the third pull. 

Correct contact in weightlifting is each aggressive and delicate. In case you slam your legs or hips into the barbell, you’re imparting power within the incorrect route. You wouldn’t toss stuff away from you and anticipate it to fly upward, in any case. These drills may help you discover the appropriate feeling.

Hip Faucet to Excessive Pull

This drill doesn’t have an official title, however you’ll generally see it included in early weightlifting instruction for each full-time Olympic lifters and purposeful athletes like CrossFitters. What’s extra, you may observe this one at residence with a PVC pipe, dowel, broomstick, or empty barbell.

The concept right here is straightforward: Stand upright together with your legs and hips barely bent (what weightlifters name the facility place) whereas holding the bar in your regular snatch grip. Then, intentionally swing the bar a couple of inches away out of your hips and easily carry it again in.

Make agency, however not painful, contact together with your hips three or 4 instances in succession. Then, on the final rep, as quickly as you’re feeling the bar contact your hips, carry out both a excessive pull or an influence snatch. This drill helps you synchronize your motion and lengthen your decrease physique on the actual second the bar touches your hips. 

Block Snatch (or Clear) Pull

Weightlifting coaching is famend for its energy output potential. Research routinely present that Olympic lifters have distinctive power output potential past what you may get from commonplace power coaching. (1)(2)

That functionality comes from heavy, explosive actions like block pulls. Extending within the snatch or clear teaches you how you can synchronize your decrease physique and make correct bar contact on the identical time with out worrying about catching the barbell overhead or within the entrance rack place.

[Read More: Omega 3 Benefits — More Muscle, Better Recovery, and Endurance]

Working from blocks helps refine each of those qualities as nicely. By beginning with the barbell elevated round knee-level, you may prune the irrelevant parts of the snatch or clear pull and zone in in your contact cadence and energy manufacturing. 

Your Takeaways

Correct bar-body contact is integral to success in weightlifting. Nevertheless, it’s simple to use an excessive amount of (or too little) power to your detriment as nicely. The place and the way you make contact is dependent upon a number of elements.

  • Hip contact is probably the most mechanically environment friendly type of physique contact, because it locations the thing you’re making an attempt to maneuver very near the supply of your energy manufacturing. A correct snatch requires good hip contact.
  • Thigh contact is much less environment friendly, however is critical for many weightlifters in the course of the clear.
  • Your grip width is the first issue that determines the place you make contact with the barbell.
  • The wider your grip, the upper in your legs (or into your hip) you’ll make contact with the bar.
  • Try to make crisp, forceful hip contact. Nevertheless, it ought to by no means be painful or depart bruises in your physique. 
  • Sure tutorial drills or accent workouts can enhance the standard of your bar-body contact. 

Energy isn’t every part. That’s a lesson you’ll study the laborious method each if you attempt to skip a rock throughout the water and on the weightlifting platform. To ship an impossibly-heavy barbell hovering overhead, you want each brute power and sharp finesse.

Correct bar-body contact will get you there. Hip and thigh contact each have their place in weightlifting; figuring out the distinction between them will assist you to carry heavier, transfer higher, and might elevate you to the highest of the rostrum. 


  1. Morris, S. J., Oliver, J. L., Pedley, J. S., Haff, G. G., & Lloyd, R. S. (2022). Comparability of Weightlifting, Conventional Resistance Coaching and Plyometrics on Energy, Energy and Velocity: A Systematic Overview with Meta-Evaluation. Sports activities medication (Auckland, N.Z.), 52(7), 1533–1554. 
  2. Garhammer J. (1980). Energy manufacturing by Olympic weightlifters. Drugs and science in sports activities and train, 12(1), 54–60.

Featured Picture: William Johnson / BarbellStories

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