T Nation

snatch and clean form tips

I have recently added cleans and snatches into my routine, and I am having a problem with the catch in both lifts.

When I start the pull I have my feet underneath me slightly less than shoulder width, but when I get to the catch in either lift my feet tend to point out and my stance gets almost to a sumo style width.Since doing these I have noticed some residual soreness in my knees, so I am thinking I must not be doing something right.

Has anyone else had this problem, or know of any tips I can use to correct this. Thanks,


I suggest posting this in Christian Thibaudeau’s forum.

It’s pretty safe to say you’re kicking your feet out to get under the bar, instead of squatting to get under.

Is this in both lifts, or just the clean?

When you catch the bar, your knees should be over, but not forward of your feet. If you’re doing the power variations of these lifts, your catch position should look like you’re in a quarter squat position. So get your hips back. It’s no big deal if your feet change position, but if you have to spread your feet that wide, then the weight might be too heavy. I’m not a frequent poster on this board but I’ve said many times that O lifts are extremely difficult to learn without proper coaching. Find a strength coach and hire him/her for a session or two. It might be a pain to do it, but it will be well worth it.

It’s in both lifts,and to a lesser extent, this tends to happen when I do overhead squats as well.My feet turn out and my knees go to the side instead of to the front.I wonder if it could be a balance or flexibility issue.

DCB, I thought the same thing at first about the weight issue, but I do it even when I use just the weight of the bar.My knees still track my feet and my shins stay nearly vertical,I just turn out instead of straight ahead.I do agree about finding a coach to learn these techniques from properly.I just have to find one.

Rod, how would you rate your flexibility? Do you have any problems performing deep squats? In regard to a strength coach, what area do you live in? I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Rod the best thing to do is to get someone that knows his or her, snatch and cleans really well and learn from them…

Thats was why I met up w/ coach davies and grant the other day was to clean up my forum on my cleans and snatches…

I would rate my flexibility as pretty fair.My hamstrings are a little tight but coming along with steady work.I can deep squat fine, but I have noticed that I do have to keep my feet at shoulder width or slightly wider which for me is fairly wide[2 1/2 feet] to keep balanced and keep my heels on the ground.I live in the Houston,Tx. area.thanks,rod.

It sounds like you just need some form work then. It’s good that you’re keeping your knees from traveling too far forwards, but it sounds like you still need to really concentrate on landing with your hips back.

Living in Houston, you should have a plethora of qualified people around you. The Univ. of Houston, Rice, The Texans, and any other major University or pro team will have a strength and conditioning staff. I used to be a strength coach at the University of Maryland and I can tell you from experience that my former peers are chronically underpaid. So don’t be shy about making a few phone calls to set up an appointment. Most of them would probably be happy to do for ~ $50/hour.

THanks for the replies dcb.I am definitely going to do that as soon as possible.