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Nova Performance Weekly Blog


by Adam Smith on Sep 21, 2021

Hang position

Hang positioning is where the athlete will pick up the bar from the floor and lower (eccentric movement) ourselves into a set position.

This can be anywhere below the hip but usually the 2 most common are hang from mid thigh and low hang which is between the mid shin and patella.

I start beginners off with hangs to get used to dropping under the bar to build confidence.


The pros of doing hang work are that it is easier to learn than blocks, so usually this will make the athlete more confident when starting out as a beginner.

The Hang will improve speed under the bar ESPECIALLY from mid thigh.

The Low hang can create the athlete to stay tighter and focus keeping the weight through the legs and back when doing the eccentric phase. Creating tighter and stronger positions when the athlete performs the full lifts.


The cons of the hang position are that, as a beginner, the athlete can often cheat and get into non optimal positions to get the weight up.

Fatigue is reached quicker, especially when going heavy.

Can overstimulate the lower back when performing heavy volume.

Block positioning

Block work is where the athlete starts in a static position, therefore only focusing on producing power (concentric movement)

The same positions apply as hang, But again we usually use ABK (above knee) and BLK (below knee)

I use this when athletes can perform hangs with sound technique and are confident lifters. The blocks give you instant feedback when lifting.


The pros of using blocks are that the athlete can solely focus on driving up to create as much power as they possibly can to get under the bar in a strong bottom position.

Purely focuses on the concentric movement.

Increase speed under the bar, ESPECIALLY ABK.

Blocks are a great way to take stress away from the lower back.

You only perform good lifts if your positioning is good.


You only generate concentric power, if we just do this we will develop a weaker posterior chain compared to an athlete doing hangs also.

You need equipment (blocks) or lots of plates to set up on.

If your body is slightly out of optimal positioning then you will miss the lift or it will look nasty.


Both blocks and hangs create speed under the bar, They both reinforce good positioning. However as much as these variations of the snatch and clean n jerk help us improve. It's still so important to do the lifts from the floor as this is how we compete.


I hope you enjoyed the read and stay posted for the next one. If you have any questions just shoot me an email on

If you want to see some of my training logs and videos follow me on Instagram @thicc__astley or @npbarbellclub

See you all soon!

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