How To Fix Your Bar Path In The Snatch

Why Do We Miss?

When we see more than four (4) degrees of horizontal displacement, that is the distance that the bar travels away from the body, the chances of making a successful attempt drop significantly. Two things are likely to happen, either the bar loops away from the body, causing us to miss the lift behind or the bar doesn’t achieve the height and momentum required to pull ourselves underneath, which in turn causes the bar to fall in front.

For example, here is a diagram drawn over a 157kg (354lb) Snatch by 2018 Pan American Champion Wes Kitts. This weight represents his final warm up attempt before opening the competition at 165kg (363lbs).

This video was taken before heading down to the Pan American Championships where Wes went on to win Gold in the 105kg weight class, and represents roughly 88% of his one rep max Snatch of 180kg (396lbs). Click HERE to watch the video.

How To Keep The Bar Close

1. Assign tension properly; the easiest way to do this is to pull our lats down and towards the glutes. Imagine that we are bending the bar around the shins as we work to push the platform away from us with the middle of the foot.

2. Ensure that the momentum of the bar works up and back towards the body as the plates break from the floor.

3. Bring our shoulders as far in advance of the bar as possible, as the bar is lifted above the knee.

4. Be mindful of where our weight resides on the foot throughout the pull. Our weight starts over the middle of the foot, works back towards the ankle as the bar passes the knee and returns to the middle of the foot as the power position develops.

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Dave Spitz is the owner of California Strength and has over 15 years of programming experience coaching multiple National Champions and International Medalists in Olympic weightlifting, top CrossFit Games Athletes and runs an NFL Scouting Combine Prep Class that has produced over 20 NFL Draft Picks including Superbowl Tight Ends Zach Ertz and Austin Hooper.

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This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 432 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)