How To Fix Your Bar Path In The Snatch

How To Fix Your Bar Path In The Snatch

Why do we miss attempts in the Snatch? 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.

Read on to discover four technical adjustments that you can right now that will lead to more successful Snatch attempts!

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3 Tips To Avoid Bruising Your Pubic Bone While Snatching

3 Tips To Avoid Bruising Your Pubic Bone While Snatching

Having a bruised pubic bone from Snatching is painful AF. Once you have one, it feels like it will never go away. Naturally as humans, we will try to avoid pain and snatch technique will suffer. How do we even get those darn bruises? Here’s a little info regarding how they happen and how to prevent them.

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How To Snatch Pain Free While Using Your Hook Grip

How To Snatch Pain Free While Using Your Hook Grip

Experiencing discomfort in your wrist while Snatching or feel like your turnover is too slow? Nicole Lim and the California Strength Weightlifting Team weigh in on whether or not you should release your hook grip when receiving the Snatch overhead.

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3 Scalable Exercises To Improve Your Overhead Strength And Stability

3 Scalable Exercises To Improve Your Overhead Strength And Stability

Any exercise that requires an overhead component is largely considered a core exercise. To improve stability in your overhead movements like Snatch and Jerks, we can apply unstable components to specific movement patterns in order to increase our kinesthetic awareness. One method in particular that I have found to be a huge help over the years are perturbations.

Demonstration Videos Included

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Some Jerk Talking: Dave Spitz Breaks Down The Jerk

Some Jerk Talking: Dave Spitz Breaks Down The Jerk

Everyone can Snatch, everyone can Clean but only champions can Jerk. - Ivan Abadjiev

Looking for a sure fire way to determine which Jerk variation is right for you? In this week's Technique Talk, we break down the similarities and differences between the Split, Power and Squat Jerk variations in an all out assault on demystifying one of the most technical movements in Olympic weightlifting.

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The Squat Jerk: What does it take?

The Squat Jerk: What does it take?

Leg strength, leg strength, leg strength... and great shoulder mobility and terrific overall stability.  These three things are required for anyone who looks to compete in Olympic weightlifting using the Squat Jerk technique. What the Squat Jerk may remove in technical complexity (compared to the more common Split Jerk), it more than makes up for in brute strength and physical requirements.

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Active Rest: Doing the Small Things

Active Rest: Doing the Small Things

Following the completion of a macrocycle, it is beneficial to prescribe at least one complete week off from training.  Stepping away from the barbell allows time for the body to work out any aches and pains that may have amassed from a year’s worth of hard training and allows your Central Nervous System to recharge..

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Snatch Pull Vs. Clean Pull

Snatch Pull Vs. Clean Pull
While many of the principles with respect to force production are similar in the Snatch Pull and the Clean Pull there are also some noteworthy difference in how the pulls develop.  Below are factors that influence the differences in the mechanics of the Snatch and Clean Pull.
  1. Grip width in the Snatch is wider than the Clean.
  2. Relatively speaking, Clean weights are 20 - 25% heavier than Snatch weights.
  3. The Acceleration of the bar begins more gradually in the Snatch and ends with 10-15% greater Velocity than the Clean.  
  4. The “fixation” height or the height at which the bar is stabilized in the catch positions is 25-30% higher in the Snatch than in the Clean

Here is how we account for these differences….

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Heavy Weights: Let your speed be the variable

Heavy Weights: Let your speed be the variable

In this article we want to discuss a concept that may seem obvious at first glance and yet it is an area where mistakes are made frequently. The issue we want to address is how an athlete should attack progressively loading heavier weights on a bar in the Snatch and Clean in a given workout. As an athlete loads heavier weight on a barbell, the bar cannot continue to be accelerated using the same force or achieve the same peak velocity. For example, Spencer Moorman cannot pull 160kg with the same speed as he can pull 100kg. Therefore we must have an approach and a strategy to counter this slower bar speed as he makes progressively heavier attempts. 

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How good is YOUR shoulder mobility?

 Fig. 1: 2012 Olympic gold medalist aleksey torokhtiy works with robert blackwell

Fig. 1: 2012 Olympic gold medalist aleksey torokhtiy works with robert blackwell

Most people lack sufficient internal and external rotation to truly execute overhead movements effectively. especially among the athletes with longer levers, it's critical that athletes possess good internal shoulder rotation. Here is a drill that we incorporated into The Barbell WOD to address these mobility concerns. 

Aleksey Torokhtiy is pictured left (fig. 1) working with California Strength athlete Robert Blackwell to to develop sufficient internal rotation in a clean grip Sotts press from the front rack. While working to achieve these positiotions it's helpful to have a partner to help you to pull your body into the correct positions. In addition to the partner stretching techniques, employing the static stretch (fig. 2) to free up lats and rhomboids that can help with developing internal/external rotation in the shoulder. 

To perform a correct Clean Grip Sotts Press:

 Fig 2: Static stretch demonstration to build internal/external rotation in shoulders

Fig 2: Static stretch demonstration to build internal/external rotation in shoulders

  • Start with grip with that you can overhead squat easily.
  • Once you're in the OHS squat position work to build mobility in that motion.
  • Slowly move the grip in, approximately one finger width at a time until you arrive at your clean grip.

We recommend you do this exercise on recovery days when focusing on creating additional levels of flexibility.  We've programmed this movement into the current mesocycle of The Barbell WOD as an added emphasis on shoulder mobility.

Keep in mind that shoulder mobility is integral to successful completion of any overhead movement. Continuous application to improvement in all planes will ensure that your shoulder mobility is not throttling your progress in locking out those big lifts! For a full synopsis of exercises referred to in this article, please view our technical video overview!