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Snatch/Clean Catch Help


Hey guys, a technique question, especially for the Oly lifters in the house. When you were learning to snatch/clean how did you work into the full squat catch? I've never had any formal instruction in the olympic lifts, and I'm looking to go from the quarter squat catch that I'm using now to the full squat catch.

What I'm thinking is just begin catching in the full squat (obviously using lighter weights in the beginning) and gradually working back up. The only thing I'm worried about with this is that I'll accidentally train myself to not extend all the way because I'll be using light weights.

Hell, I don't know, I'm like a monkey fuckin' a football right now. Any tips? Thanks guys.



A lot of practice and you might want to incorporate drop snatches.


Training from boxes or from a high hang position can help since your pull won't be as strong and you'll have to catch it lower and/or have greater speed under the bar.

Learning to squat snatch or clean also has a lot to do with confidence in that bottom position, so pause squats(back/front/overhead), drop snatches, and increasing flexibility can really help.


I'm ok as far as confidence goes. I can already back/front squat more than my clean (not like that's saying much) and probably OH squat more than I can snatch. So basically what I'm hearing is... just fuckin' practice it? Also, what's a drop snatch? Thanks for all the help, guys.


The drop snatch is also called the snatch balance. To perform the lift you will start with the bar behind your neck with a snatch grip. You will then drive the bar overhead much like you would a push/power jerk behind the neck, and on the catch ride it down to the bottom like an overhead squat. The point needing emphasis: this is not an overhead squat drill. Catching the weight straight legged defeats the purpose of the exercise.

The goal is learn how to time the drive and the catch under with weights well above (110-130%)of your max snatch.
With weight selection you should be doing triples with 70% of your max snatch, doubles when approaching 85-105%, and singles with >105%.


Drop Snatch/Snatch Balance Video:

...Theres a lot of good resources on that site for learning the oly lifts. mikesgym.org has some videos too.


The way I was coached this drill was to catch the weight at full squat rather than catching it and riding it down. I was also taught that any leg drive used shouldn't be move the bar upwards more than a couple inches (if at all) but is rather used to push yourself under the weight. A lot of people learning the lift end up catching it at half squat so they end up doing a snatch-grip power jerk + overhead squat which defeats the purpose as you mentioned.


I was taught to just drop under and try not to push the weight up. I hate doing drop snatches, hard as hell.


Agreed, and if they are catching it that high you can put more weight on the bar and they will learn the hard way lol.
Our goal with the drop snatch is to do much heavier weights than you can snatch (10-25% more than your PR) to develop overhead strength and the mental readiness for heavy weights. If they are performed like in the video posted, the amount of weight which can be added to the bar is rather limited. Also, the feet need to lift off the ground to maximize the training benefit.


The big thing with a full clean is committing. A lot of people are afraid to drop down to that bottom position and are hesitant which can really hinder the lift especially with maximal loads. When I first started I remember my coach having us catch like a power clean and then ride it down from their into a front squat. Eventually each rep was smoother and smoother to the point where the catch was not forced and just natural. It's really a matter of comfort, confidence and practice.


One very important thing to remember with the clean and the snatch, is not to pull the bar as high as you can, but rather to pull yourself under the bar.


All good info here. Some of the lifts you can do:

Snatch balance is great.
Power clean (from floor, below knee, or above knee), and then F. squat afterwards. I'd recommend 5x3, or 4x4.
Also Power snatch (fl, be kn, ab kn), and then an overhead squat afterwards. 5x3+3, or 4x4+4.
You can also just clean or snatch and catch it at a quarter squat and just ease down from there.
You can also do Behind the neck snatch grip push press (if your shoulders are capable), and then Overhead squat. 4-5 x 4+4 would be good.

The idea here is that you do not muscle up the weight. You have to FINISH THE PULL so the barbell is at your waist. Once the bar is at your waist area is when you simultaneously shrug and start bending your elbows. At this point, just drop under the bar as FAST AS YOU CAN. Obviously you want to use light weights at first so you learn to absorb the weight. Once you have practice with this and slowly add on 5-10 pounds, you will be confident in catching it and not be afraid that it might be too heavy.

The cool thing is that the weight feels a hell of a lot lighter when you squat the weight back up after you catch the clean or snatch. The same weight with just doing overhead squats or front squats feels heavier (at least this is what I have experienced).

Good luck, and watch videos!! Make sure you also do a bar warm-up, search the web for some good warm-up (Burgener, for example).


You want to shrug before you bend your elbows, and both of those things are done to get you under the bar. You aren't dropping under the weight, you are actively pulling (pushing as well, in the snatch) yourself underneath it.


I had this exact same problem.

Drop Snatch followed by full Snatch x 3

This was very good. The drop snatch will have you moving in the same pattern for your full snatch.

Other than that, consistent practice. If you really wanna iron out the wrinkles in your technique take 60% of your max and do 10 sets of 3 reps focusing on all aspects of technique.


I have the same problem I think it has to do with ankle flexibility. while I can back and front squat all the way down, the videos I see of catching the snatch they always seem to have their knees waaaaaayyyy past the toes even more than a squat. It looks like this can only be enhanced with practice and concentration on the catch. I've noticed i've been getting better


Yes you are right! And I forgot to mention that you are indeed pushing yourself under the bar. Thanks!