Paused Snatches and the 1st Pull
Ultimately the aim of the first pull is to guide the bar into an optimal hang position, feeding into an explosive second pull. It’s a common mistake to try and use the first pull to increase the speed of the bar; a great idea in theory, but if rushing makes you lose tension or miss your optimal hang position, that added bar speed is wasted.
While there are examples of elite lifters who do pull from the floor quickly, they have greater familiarity with the various components of the lift – and they’re the elite for a reason! Most novice/intermediate lifters are surprised what percentage of their max Snatch they can still lift from hang, when the work from the floor is taken out of the equation.
For example, here’s Matt performing paused snatches at 53kg and 58kg (approx 82% and 90% respectively). He also threw 63kg behind his head – not a good lift but showing again that pulling from hang doesn’t necessarily diminish the bar height much!
If you find your hang work is almost as good as your full lifts, it might be time to address your work from the floor with pulls, repetitive first pulls, halting lifts, and deficit pulls if your mobility allows it.