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Snatch Grip High Pull - Shoulder Pain


I have been trying to integrate Snatch Grip High Pulls into my Strength Skills circuit but I’ve been experiencing a lot of shoulder pain. It’s hard for me to tell but it seems like the pain is in my joint - on top of my shoulder nearer the front. It also hurts the most when I’m dropping the weight.

Unfortunately, I’m not at a gym where I can just drop the weight, but most videos don’t show people dropping the weight on a SGHP anyway. But that just seems odd to me. I’m using a lot of muscles to get that weight high. If I just let gravity take it away, won’t the weight just wrench my arms down? Am I supposed to be using other muscles to slow the descent?


It’s because you are pulling too much and too early with your arms. The pain is the insertion of the biceps at the shoulder joint.

In a high pull the arms are only participating A BIT on the very last portion of the pull. It’s the hips and legs that provide the acceleration needed to get the bar to be catapulted up.

What you are experiencing is the no.1 issue with people who come from more of a traditional “bodybuilding” or “strength” background: they have not learn to create enough explosion for the bar to be catapulted up and they need to rely on arm strength to get the weight moving up and that WILL get you injured.


This thread should be blocked. Too much info. going out. I’m not even going to read…


Christian, I found something similar when doing snatches.

I kept getting shoulder-pain from snatches. I figured that not only did I pull to early with the arms and not entire torso - but also that I wasn’t keeping my upper back+rear delta/arms tight enough causing a slack and too much stress on the shoulder-joint where the force travels through. (Think of a car A pulling another car B with a slack wire, and car A accelerates, causing strain on the wire).
Is that similar, or another issue?


I seem to be experiencing the same issue at the insertion of the bicep at the shoulder joint on my right arm. It has only surfaced a few weeks after I began your olympic weightlifting program. The pain is very, very mild and bearable, and I only feel it a bit during certain movements, such as when I lock the barbell overhead.

Luckily this isn’t preventing me from pursuing the program, but I’d be curious if you have any tips on how to treat/remedy it (except for correcting my technique on the pull, as you mentioned earlier).


Start every workout with band shoulder dislocates, external rotator cuff work and bottoms-up KB presses


I have been extremely busy at work or I would have gotten to this thread sooner.

Thanks so much for the advice, coach. I’ve had two workouts since this post where I did SGHP and I really focused on doing the movement with my hips and legs. Didn’t have any of the shoulder pain I was having.

I noticed near the end of my workout I would “relax” and start pulling with my arms again so just have to be vigilant about that going forward.

Thanks, again.