What I want to see with lifters ideally is pretty simple: I want the bar to remain as close to the thighs as possible without being in contact, and for the shoulders to remain slightly in front of the bar until the bar is up into the hips in the Snatch and to the upper thighs in the Clean. This bar position is a natural result of staying over the bar until very late in the second pull. Be patient.
The extension of the hips must be extremely violent, and the legs should continue pushing against the floor until it’s completed and no longer. This helps maintain proper balance over the feet, assists in bar elevation, and helps ensure that the force imparted to the bar is directed overwhelmingly upward rather than forward. The hips absolutely need to come into contact with the bar—in no instance should a lifter finish a pull without the bar being in full contact with the hips (or upper thighs in the clean). Any separation at this point is the result of either not completing hip extension, being too far forward on the feet and being unable to finish the pull properly as a result, or having a light weight on the bar that was swung out early in the lift.
Once the bar is in contact with the body, it should remain in contact briefly as it continues to rise. If the lifter is actively pulling the bar into the body as he or she should be to maintain proximity and balance, it will brush up the body momentarily rather than hit and immediately bounce away. To be clear, this is not the bar dragging up the body for any considerable distance or time. If the hips are extended properly, the bar will be moving up toward a body that is retreating from it.
Imagine a vertical line passing through a lifter’s shoulder, hip and ankle when viewing him/her from the side–the goal is to prevent the hips from crossing this vertical plane during the extension (i.e. no farther forward than they are when the lifter is standing vertically). This is achieved through the proper leg drive described above directing and balancing the hip extension. It is NOT the result of reducing the force of the hip extension.