T Nation

Learning to Snatch from Scratch



well, I tried to amp up the ‘editing’ on the second video so there’s less crap to sift through.


To be honest, it’s all bad, from your first pull to your bar position overhead. You can see the bar swinging far out in front of you even on the muscle snatches, and I would advise against excessive rounding of your back when you lower the weight.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.


Dang, that’s pretty… Tough to hear, haha. Any advice though? Videos I could look at? Anything? Oh and as for the lower back rounding while putting down the weight, I don’t really think how i put down a weight that’s like <20% of my max deadlift actually matters so yeah.

EDIT : Looked at the links you posted but got removed, thanks for that. Any other advice?


Moved this over to the CT Coaching category from the Olympic Lifting category cause well, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and ask CT for advice. I generally try not to ask the coaches on T-Nation for advice cause it really feels like I’m just bothering them. Thanks in advance though.


The issue is that online coaching with a very beginner doesn’t work.

The lifts are technical and when you start from scratch you need to teach the person using a specific drill sequence which have to be coached to avoid taking bad habits.

Of course I could give you technical cues but the problem is that then you would learn by associating movement with verbal commands which leads to a technique that easily breaks down.

I can help someone who is 80-90% correct and need to work on one specific area, but online teaching of the lifts from scratch is a, IMHO a mistake.


Yup, I do understand where you’re coming from. That being said, having some simple to understand technical cues couldn’t hurt too much… Is there any specific area that’s the problem or am I so horrible with the lift that I should just drop it entirely until I can find a good coach. I’m doing this(the Snatch) solely out of interest and not so much as a way to build muscle/strength.


It’s not completely horrible. But waiting to find a coach is never a bad idea. The longer you practice bad habits the harder it is to fix them.

On top of my head you have 3 main issues:

  1. You initiate the movement with the weight shifter too far forward and the barbell moves away

  2. When you pull you essentially jump up and do not act with your arms… it is a pull, not a jump. That is why the bar is looping forward. Practice the snatch high pull, focus on pulling close to your body at all times. Aim for the throat. Then when you are good at the high pull, do a complex of 2 high pulls followed by one snatch, focusing the just copying the feeling of the pull.

  3. You do a pull and pray (or in your case a jump and pray). You are jumping and praying that the bar falls in the right place. You should always be interacting with the barbell. You pull it to your throad and as you move under it you should punch the ceiling to place the barbell in the right spot instead of letting the bar fall on you


Appreciate the advice coach, I’ll see what I can do about it. Thank you so much.


this might help, because we all know you are going to do it anyway, cause it’s fun and you won’t wait to find a coach

i really hope that you are not anti-russian lol (even tho he is from Ukraine)

the subtitles are correct in like 95% of the video, so you can understand what he is saying. Check his other 2 videos for the second pull (which as CT said is missing in your snatch) and for the stability exercises

Aleksey is a pretty nice guy and an olympic medalist, so you can learn a lot from him


Eh… Can’t say I disagree with you here pal.

Nope, love people from everywhere. Well, until I meet one I really dislike that is.

Thanks for the suggestion, will take a look at them.



Been working on my snatch more. Was fortunate enough to have someone (teaches olympic weightlifting introduction classes) look at it for like one session and have been working on it in whatever ways I can. The video includes some of the nicer looking snatches I’ve done so far, I think.

As for where I think my mistakes are, I think I’m catching the bar too far back and I’ve been told I’m not explosive enough.

I’m intentionally pulling slowly in the 3rd and 4th lift cause it seems to help me. Read “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” somewhere and it just resonated with me.

Please do take a look at my video and… Do you thing coach, haha. Thanks in advance and I actually recorded the video using the slow mo function in my phone. Somehow they were uploaded in regular speed. Would slow mo videos help you in identifying what issues I might have? Oh and on top of that, what would be a good angle for you to look at/me to record the lift from?