T Nation

Muscle Snatch, Coaching Cues


#1

Sorry wouldn't let me start a thrad in article dicussion thred.
here's the thing, been strength coaching for 20yrs, and other than power clean I've never felt comfortable teaching Oly lifts, as I've never been taught them properly my self. Over the years I've only been asked a handful of times, and I direct guys to an Oly club an hour away. These have mainly been guys wanting to become/get into Oly lifting. More recently I've been getting guys just wanting to include one or two Oly lifts in they're fitness programs, for general fitness. These guys aren't really a good fit to send to proffesional Oly club.

I myself have been including the power, and hang clean, as well as the high pull in my own routine the last 5mths, and have learned loads. No longer just an upright row with a 3" dip at the top. I think the muscle snatch is somthing I can start doing as well as coaching to average joes. I'd like to be able to dicuss, and really break down into cues.

Funny enough when I turn guys down, and send them to the Oly club, I get aproached by 20yr trainers with weekend certs telling me they'll teach the client the lifts if I'm not comfortable :slightly_smiling: Lukily I own the gym, and have banned any non qualified trainers from this. One of these days I'll get down to the Oly club myself, and spend some time learning, but as a PLer I'm not really interested, just would like a solid understanding to coach, so as to not mess any body up. Hope this gets somthing started. Thanks


#2

Well, here’s my 2 cents. This spring I invested in a 160lb set of bumpers. For the last 4 months I’ve been using them on my “fun” training day. I run thru a variety of lifts, but the core have been muscle snatch, SGHP, pendley rows, & clean/press. All self taught as I’ve always train alone at home.

They have really taught me the value of full extension, use/demonstration of power. They are generally not physically draining and have been enjoyable and motivating. At 51 yrs old, using lifts that require explosiveness have been a great addition to my training.

Cheers


#3

Jake,

Glenn Pendlay has some excellent videos on learning the snatch. My coach has actually implemented this same progression for teaching the lifts and he is a USAW certified coach. Glenn shows a progression to the full snatch but the principles of the pull are the same. Just have your clients pull, but instead of dropping under and catching, have them muscle it up the rest of the way.

I’d post a link to the teaching progression but whenever I post a link the mods always seem to find a supplement ad somewhere on the page and end up pulling my post due to competition. If you Google “Glenn Pendlay snatch progression” I’m sure you will find it.


#4

I’ve been to pendlays page, actually bought some stuff there a few years ago, never noticed video teachings. The thing is in a comercial gym, such as mine, were not set up for Oly lifting, I do have rubber coated plates, 3 racks, one open. I’m all for this push for more strength, and Oly type lifting for average Joes, and don’t want to discourage it at my place, but I’ve always felt it needed to be properly coached. I’ve always coached and done well with the hang clean. Since CT’s article I’ve learned, and now will coach the high pulls, and yesterdays article made me think this to is doable, and effective for my guys. I’ll first practice, and learn it myself. In the end though, it’s hard to do/recomend full movements from the ground, as I have to catter to many different types of people to stay in buisness. (can’t scare away seniors, and socer moms) So hanging or off pins in my half rack will have to do. Me and a couple of my kids do power cleans from the floor, but have to control decent, this negates heavy weights. These are my concerns, I will check out Pendlays sight, thanks for that. In the end it’s impossible to please everyone. One day would like to have a place with seperate back room for “hardcore” crowd.
I’ll check back in a few days, if you don’t mind Mike once I’ve had time to do a couple sessions myself, I’ll probably have more questions at that point. Thanks for taking the time.


#5

pendlay’s good, also if you search for muscle snatch on youtube there’s a good video/tutorial from attitude nation/jon north with spencer moorman - other good general resources include catalyst athletics, sean waxman, greenwood weightlifting, california strength, iron mind/jim schmitz, bob takano

my 2 cents, keep the chest up from the floor, elbows out/pronated, bar close, extend and punch - some people include a brush up the top of the thigh some don’t - I prefer the former as it mimics the classic more but either is acceptable, I think you get a better line/bar path my way but the other way makes you fight a bit more as it’s fractionally more in front/away from you


#6

Bar work is your friend.

LOTS AND LOTS OF BAR WORK will teach the lifts faster.

I’m not a fan of muscle sn unless the person can actually Sn properly. Doesn’t help ingrain or teach them the most technical part of the lift. The transition under the bar. Anyone can pull the bar up high, very few can get under a bar that doesn’t get up so high.

Charlietr, your avatar pic. That is from crystal palace right? I noticed the room and mats. The wooden thing hasn’t been on the wall for at least 10-12yrs?!

Koing


#7

Thanks guys, I stated looking around interweb for Oly lifting technique, I don’t know why I hadn’t tought of this before. I guess I always thought of OLy lifting as a dangerous black art, that could hurt people if done incorrectly. Arter spending a couple months on cleans, and pulls myself, I’m feeling a little more confident.

I’m going to start doing some hang snatches, and when I’m feeling like I’ve got a grasp adding some to clients programs. I stayed up till 2 am last night watching vids, lot of Clint Darden as well. Give me a week, and I’ll try to throw up some vids, or at the very least ask some technique quetions.

here’s number 1 with the hang version of the snatch, should I dip down to my knee to get some speed for the pull,(like hang clean) or just begin from the hang with a jerk like high pulls. The other thing is wheather it’s better to learn full movement from the ground, and learn to control the descent back to the floor.

At home in my garage I can drop the weight, but it’s not an option where I coach, so my options are, hang snatch, off pins snatch, or from the floor with controled descent. Thanks for taking the time guys I appreciate it. With the crossfit craze and weekend trainers, people are going to do this anyway, I’d like to atleast be able to coach proper form, and havew a handle on a couple Oly lifts Thanks Jake


#8

Koing, yes that is palace back in 98! Taught Keith everything he knows :wink: and pretty sure I’ve given you a red light or 2!

Jake, personally I think it’s preferable to learn the whole movement from the floor. I tend to use the whole part whole method and go from start to finish ie demo the whole movement, get the trainee to do it, break it down into stages/key cues, then put it all together and get them doing the whole movement again. Some people prefer the reverse chain teaching method, which is very good, whereby you start at the top of the pull and work back/down. Most people can and should lift from the floor, very few can’t but some coaches struggle with this and some people like to perpetuate the myth as they can’t teach it etc. The trick is to go slow and never sacrifice form ie the first pull should be relatively slow and controlled, then accelerate to full speed when you get near the end of second pull.

Sean Waxman has a great article called ‘A Technical Description Of The Pull In Weightlifting’ which is far, far better than my waffle!

To answer your question go from mid shin/the floor with wooden stick and empty bar for sets of 5 reps or so with strict form and spend time holding key positions eg power position/bar just below knee. Get the movements smooth, fast and instinctive long before adding weight and when you do add weight it will fly up!


#9

Jake,

It’s definitely not a black art, and as far as being dangerous, the irony is that bad technique can, in some ways, be safer than good technique. The reason is that with bad technique, the trainee won’t be able to lift as much weight. Most beginners with poor coaching (and those who have decent coaches but lack athletic skill) end up doing something like a cheat upright row reverse curl hybrid deal. I ain’t seen no one reverse curl 200 kg.

As for how to approach the lifts, from my own experience and from what I’ve seen, once someone starts learning the lifts, they get hooked. Many want to try and compete, and even those who don’t would like to learn the lifts well. I don’t do Crossfit but I do Olympic lifting at a Crossfit gym (they have an OL only option so I don’t need to do the CF), and many of the Crossfitters stay after the CF class to do extra OL work, and those are the folks who end up competing in OL - they get hooked on the lifts. So at some point in your teaching progression you’ll want to have your trainees lift from the floor.


#10

I’ll never forget seeing a huge American football player basically deadlift and reverse curl 150kg relatively slowly and calling it a power clean. horrible but impressive and probably quite useful in some respects.


#11

Awesome stuff, I’m going to start spending half an hour twice a week, before I dead, and squat, on snatches for the next while. I’d say I have no interest in them other than to learn them, to coach them, but since I’ve been doing cleans, and pulls last 6mths, my desire to move bigger weights has taken on a life of it’s own, so I have a feeling I’ll get hooked on these too.

My main goals are PLing, but to coach things I like to be able to do them as well. You guys are great, and have been really helpful. The odd time I’ve asked for coaching advice for a BBing client on the other side of the sight, not near as receptive, thankyou. I imagine over next few weeks, as I try to master this, questions will arise.

Now I’ve been watching a few clips, and it appears from the floor that the bar almost gets rowed up, then when the hips drive forwrd, the momentum pushes the bar up over head. This might be a stupid question, but do the hips or belly actually make contact with the bar, and bounce it up. It apears this way with several lifters I’ve watched. It happens so fast I can’t tell if they actuially make contact, or it’s timing and momentum, and it looks that way. This I’d like to know before I atempt my first snatch from the floor.

Thanks


#12

#13

It apears to me they’re bouncing off they’re bellies ?


#14

The bar should make contact with the hips. There should be no banging or bouncing because that can cause the bar to move away from the body.

The girl in that video has bad technique. There is no transition between the first and second pull and it looks like she pulls early with her arms. The large bearded man has decent technique.


#15

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
Awesome stuff, I’m going to start spending half an hour twice a week, before I dead, and squat, on snatches for the next while. I’d say I have no interest in them other than to learn them, to coach them, but since I’ve been doing cleans, and pulls last 6mths, my desire to move bigger weights has taken on a life of it’s own, so I have a feeling I’ll get hooked on these too.

My main goals are PLing, but to coach things I like to be able to do them as well. You guys are great, and have been really helpful. The odd time I’ve asked for coaching advice for a BBing client on the other side of the sight, not near as receptive, thankyou. I imagine over next few weeks, as I try to master this, questions will arise.

Now I’ve been watching a few clips, and it appears from the floor that the bar almost gets rowed up, then when the hips drive forwrd, the momentum pushes the bar up over head. This might be a stupid question, but do the hips or belly actually make contact with the bar, and bounce it up. It apears this way with several lifters I’ve watched. It happens so fast I can’t tell if they actuially make contact, or it’s timing and momentum, and it looks that way. This I’d like to know before I atempt my first snatch from the floor.

Thanks[/quote]

you’re welcome, it’s always good to have another person take an interest in olympic lifting!

I agree with Mike on all points; there is contact between approx the top third of the thigh and the bar as a result of keeping the bar close/light contact and powerfully driving the hips in/forward but use it to elevate the bar. try a few reps from the knee/mid thigh and try to pull the bar up smooth/close but with a good hip extension, you should start to find the ideal spot on the thigh for you/your proportions. re rowing, the idea is to keep the arms long and loose, elbows turned out/pronated until you reach near the top of the pull then punch hard/fast. do take a look at the article by waxman, and/or a few everett/catalyst athletics etc. there is a hell of a lot of info out there the trick is finding the good stuff, which is quite a small % IMO.


#16

Thanks guys, Deads are tomorow-Fri going to put snatches there before deads. I’m training for a PLing meet right now, so trying to place snatches where thay won’t effect other lifts. I already do cleans before squats, and high pulls before deads, so just going to sub in snatches on both days instaead of cleans, and pulls.

I work 1on, 1off on a upper, lower split, and I started this thread the day before an upper, so it’s felt like I’ve been talking about this forever, without actually doing one (4 days) haha, the suspence is killing me, probably be a let down. The guy with the beard and belly is Clint Darden, has his own Youtube channel.

He’s the guy I’ve been watching most, mainly because tons of footage, but also because he competes at a high level in both Oly lifting, and PLing, so it kind of appeals to me, he’s also funny, and seems wise. Thanks again


#17

In the vid you posted, I’d be paying more attention to the guys in the distance, one of them looked to have a pretty decent snatch.
Not intending on ruffling any feathers here, but I wouldn’t say Clint has a decent snatch technique at all. He’s damn strong, and gets away with what technique he has. The power snatches I saw there had pretty limited final pulls, and he’s slow getting under. “high level” oly competition would be doing 1.5 - 2 x what he’s doing there.

IMHO, if you want to model yourself on any particular lifters for technique, go watch vids on Youtube of lifters in the A group competing at the World/European Championships. That’s where it’s at.


#18

Clint Darden and his wife (that girl) are training at the Cyprus National Weightlifting Team’s gym… thus, why you see some good lifting in the background. They both have only recently started O-Lifting. Clint is a former (world renowned) Strongman.


#19

ahhh, that makes sense. Certainly wasn’t meaning to bad mouth or discredit anyone. He’s damn strong alright - that shows. No doubt if he sticks with it and hones his technique, he could be a monster.


#20

Wow, ok I did a snatch workout on Fri, I haven’t had time to post because I worked 3x12s over the weekend. I spent the first half of Fri workout doing snatches, mostly with MT bar, then a couple sets with 95. Other than when I was a kid lifting weight over my head, I’ve never done a snatch in my life. My forms a mess, my timings a mess, so I figured a couple things out.

For me to work snatches twice a week before legs, isn’t going to work, it’s not going to be enough work. I think I’m going to switch up, and start training snatch on my off days (everyother day) For atleast a couple weeks. I was worried about these having a negative effect on my strength workouts, but I think at first I need to train so light it won’t matter.

Basicaly over the next while, evey time I have a spare couple minutes, I’m going to spend some time with the MT bar, or broom handle. Then work with weights on leg day. I’ll report back when I have a clue :slight_smile: thanks Latter