T Nation

Snatch/Clean Help

Hey guys. I’ve got a question for anyone who regularly does these two lifts. For some reason, doing Hang Cleans and Hang Snatches is easier for me than doing them from the floor. I know this is not normal, and that I should be able to get more power from the floor, but for some reason, I can’t. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem, or knows what the problem is. For max outs, you can’t do hangs, so i’m trying to get rid of this problem soon. Any suggestions?

is your upper body stronger than your leg drive?
In other words, are you turning them into a cheat version of upright rows or something similar?
Or is adding in the extra movement taking your attention away too much?

Not sayin’, just askin’.

are you pulling the bar directly vertical when doing hang cleans and snachs, have seen many a gym goer and even a few footbal playersw do them by pushing the bar off or their thighs. forcing the bar in a largeg arc. more like an extreme cheat curl then anything reselbling an O-lift. if your not doin gthat and your form is good you might be unconfortable coming off the floor with the bar.

try doing them w/ DB’s and see if its the bar or the position. do you have any problems with doing DL’s. where does the problem come into play during the second pull(around the knees, where you switch to explosive pull.), try getting uses to the motion with a broom handle and some wood wheels to get things going with the right form. (if your trying to use anything less then 135(bar+45 on each side) the bar will be much too low).

hope this helps post or PM with any ?'s

BB

I don’t know how to answer the question, but I came across this artivle the other day

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459939

I have a clean of 295lb and a snatch of bodyweight 185. I hang cleaned all thru high school and then went to a speedstrength trainer to train for college football each summer since then and have gotten use to power cleans but until this past summer, 3 yrs of doing power cleans, I always had a higher hang clean PR than power clean. I don’t do hang cleans anymore but I wouldn’t be surprised if I could hang clean more. I have always done power snatch but the few times I have tried hang snatch, i feel stronger in that position.

I also know quite a few college athletes, some that will be in NFL combine next year, that have better hang cleans than power cleans, and by like 50lbs in some cases…one has a HC of 385 and a PC of 315. We all have good form so In my opinion it depends on the person and might also depend on whether you learned the lift in hang or clean pos. If you want a way to make the lifts closer, I’d say do not do anymore hang cleans for a long time, just power cleans and see if you can get the doublekneebend down pat. As soon as I could do that, I noticed the HC and PC got a lot closer.

Also, do you use wraps? Me weening myself off wraps also correlated with my PC getting more even with my HC. If you don’t already, try a hook grip and for most ppl you won’t need wraps again. Hook grip in short is wrapping thumb and 4 fingers around bar like normal but then instead of thumb on top of four fingers, grab ur thumb with ur four fingers. Hope this might help even though I rambled off all sorts of bullshit.

The first place that I would look would be body position. First assume the the position that you normally perform the hang clean/snatch. Make sure that this position is perfect (shoulder’s way over the bar). Next do just the first phase of your pull from the floor stopping at the hang position. This position should be identical to the first position that you checked. If not, then it is entirely possible that you are doing the hang version one way and then turning around and doing the full version in a completely different manner.

Note: This may stem from a weak back or a weak pull from the floor. A good way to fix this is to do just the first phase of the pull as described above. We call the Snatch Lift Offs and Clean Lift Offs. Just do a 1 sec pause when you reach the hang position, then lower the bar again. They can really strengthen the back. I would recommend Snatch Lift Offs to PL’ers or OL’ers problems with off the floor strength.

It’s probably technique (yeah, I know, duh). How “explosive” are you off the floor? If you don’t come up fast, it’s not going to help to come from the floor.

Cleans and snatches are technical lifts. If not participating in Olympic lifting (for competition and such), then you don’t need to do full cleans or snatches.

Hang cleans and snatches are a better alternative for athletes and the average person looking to implement the benefits of the Olympic movements in their training.

And yes, there is a reason why you can’t do them from the floor as well as you can from the hang…it’s more difficult and requires more technic!

So stick with the hang variations and other variations (clean/snatch pulls, high pulls, etc.).

imo, oly lifting is about producing peak power at triple extension (when the bar bounces UP from your belly (snatch) or thigh (clean). speed of movement prior to triple extension is not as significant as one might think. some of the best big guy weightlifters lift a bit slower than one would expect. they just produce tremendous force at the very very end.

A good snatch should always be kept clean.

I agree that your lack of power is likely related to the need for improved technique. Many athletes find themselves “stronger” with HC/HS because they have not learned to negotiate the transition from the “first” to the “second pull” and loose vertical momentum as the bar reaches low-to-mid thigh. Then it slows further after that.

There is a movement of the knees after the initial pull from the floor often called a “scoop” or “rebending” which put the hips and legs in a powerfull position going into the second pull and then the shrug of the shoulders. It takes time to learn. For me it took the guidance of Mr. Jim Schmidtz, former coach of former members of US National Lifting Team.

If your are not satisfied with just the partial lifts, I advise trying to find a coach. Short of that go to the website for USA Weightlifting, the national team’s site and look for videos/dvd on lifting technique. You might also try IronMind or Dynamic Fitness. The later has an excellent book and video on technique and training done by Jim Schmidtz.

Good luck with the learning.

My knowledge of the O lifts is extremely limited but wouldn’t doing them from the hang involve getting some stretch reflex, forgive me if my terminology is wrong, when going from the upright position and dipping down into the hang position. Kind of like doing squats from the bottom up with no negative descent first.

Just my thoughts and I am pobably way off base…just thinking while typing.

Thanks for the feedback guys. From what I’ve read, I believe that I’m not getting enough power from the first pull into the second pull. Does anyone know anything to help correct that, aside from simply doing power cleans instead of hang cleans?

I would agree with everyone who posted already in that the problem is probably stemming from technique. The PC has a lot to do with timing. Just make sure you are getting into correct position for the second pull. Maybe video tape your power clean and hang clean and compare them to see if the second pull is in the same position. For a footballer who weighs 185 a 295 PC isn’t something I would really worry about. BTW, from my experience most guys HC more than they PC.

Speed of movement off the floor isn’t important. The best cleaners and snatchers I know move the bar relatively slow off the floor until they hit their power position in the second phase of the lift I think. I think whoever mentioned the stretch reflex might have a point. I didn’t think about that but most ppl doing HC start at hips and lower the bar to their knees in a fast sort of rocking motion and then pull. This would create a stretch reflex and may be the reason for the difference a lot of ppl experience.

Does anyone here work out in a comercial gym and do you do Power cleans and snatches? Reason why I’m asking is I do and I only use around 135-175 lbs. While I can do much more than that, I don’t really think they would like me slamming the bar down since they don’t have rubber plates. I also don’t like to be in the top position in the snatch and have to bring down 200+ slowly to avoid slamming it on the ground. So for now I just keep the weight down and just try and do them as fast as possible.

[quote]Mack wrote:
Does anyone here work out in a comercial gym and do you do Power cleans and snatches? Reason why I’m asking is I do and I only use around 135-175 lbs. While I can do much more than that, I don’t really think they would like me slamming the bar down since they don’t have rubber plates. I also don’t like to be in the top position in the snatch and have to bring down 200+ slowly to avoid slamming it on the ground. So for now I just keep the weight down and just try and do them as fast as possible.[/quote]

I work out at a 24 hour and I am in the same boat as you. At least my 24 hour has a platform with a rubber mat, but no bumper plates. When I finish a rep of power cleans I bend my knees a little and let the bar drop. When it bounces I just catch it and set it down. I won’t do snatches because it would be even harder to control the weight.

I have a similar problem since I workout on the second floor of my house. I sort of reverse curl it down while sliding my hips back. You should consider doing hang cleans instead.