March 18, 2013

Speed Under the Bar

I do not often post about technique on the blog, as I have found words on a page do very little to convey the message I am trying to explain. Demonstrations, or videos, are usually much more effective. What little I have written usually details the importance of getting under the bar in the competition lifts.

Remember, the best weightlifters in the world are the ones who get under the bar the fastest. There are many strong powerful people who can pull upwards of 200kg explosively, but very few that have the ability to get under 200kg in the clean…and even fewer in the snatch. Speed under the bar makes all the difference.

The key to improving speed under the bar is FORCING yourself to move faster. This video is of Milko Tokola, a Jr. 77/85 from Finland, and I feel accurately displays what I am trying to explain. Each and every lift, from first warm-up to his max, he throws his body under the bar as quickly as possible.

Following a steady first pull he transitions to an explosive second pull and then jumps down – not up – to complete the lift. All at break neck speed.

All novice lifters go through a similar progression learning the lifts where errors are corrected – eliminate bent arms, finish the pull, catch in the right position, etc. Going under the bar, and doing so fast, is something that is not always taught at the beginning. I am guilty of this as well, I just assume as the weight gets heavier, an athlete will increase speed under the bar. This key aspect must be taught and reinforced early and often in the learning process - Jump Down


  1. I don't know what "Perkele" means, but I think it means "complete beast".

  2. Milko Tokola is super fast!
    One of the most striking examples, thanks to him and Klokov Dmitry I started weightlifting.

  3. Great technique. This was really fast!