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Snatch So Hard!


OK. so i started some olympic lifting. Pretty good at the cleans, jerk is a little weak, but nothing some work wont help. but the snatch, HOLY CRAP. It is retardedly hard. I can get some basic weights up and fake decent form, I also know the form theoretically nearlly perfect (after studying CT's article and a number of other sources on the subject). When i speed it up and add some weight i just cant get it right though. Any suggestions for what to do? I was thinking i could do some one arm DB snatches on my off days. but would this really help? Also, if it does help, what would the relative comparisons be between one arm and two arm? for instance could you do double two arm? <-- that doesnt seem right. anyways, any thoughts would help. Also, this isnt a matter of flexibility, I'm talking power snatches here. My flexibility is too poor to pull off some real ass to the grass snatches. Ok no more rambling!
thanks all


I find power snatches very difficult to do perfectly. But I do them anyway. For me, less weight is more difficult than more weight. It's like you have to have some weight on the bar to get the momentum going and throw it overhead.


hmm. i'm no expert but i didn't get a fast nicely grooved snap to my power snatch until i learned to overhead squat properly. and i feel it definitely had to do with developing the flexibility to get a proper catch, where your structure and form locks in the weight rather than muscleing it. i don't see being able to throw the weight up there with the speed you need to have a smooth snap without having the flexibility for a good catch.
that's my experience.


Sound like a good plan.


ah the clitoris, nature's rubix cube.


hmm, well im working on flexibility, and im gonna do some overhead squats, so hopefully thatll help. but any thoughts on the one arm DB snatches i mentioned?


look up USAWF and see if there is a training hall/gym near you that would enable you to meet some people who could coach you up...or see if any of the college athletic programs in your area have S&C programs based on the olympic lifts...you might be able to g et yourself some free coaching...people in the olympic lifting game love the sport so much its a joy to teach others and Ive never encountered anyone trying to make you pay big bucks for "personal training" or lessons (other than wanna be's at these fancy new $$$ gyms where personal trainers are the jacks of all trades and master of none)...

A few visits with a strength coach or a gym where people train in the olympic lifts might have you smooth sailing on your way.

There are also some good videos and books out there on olympic lifting you could purchase.

Good Luck, Dont get frustrated learning the o-lifts is much more of a process then learning to bench or curl!


...but penis so soft! Damn!


It will also help to break the lift into sections. Start with a snatch pull off of blocks with the bar above your knees. This should just be a triple extension with the shrug. Once this is comfortable make the shrug more violent, but keep your arms straight. This will teach you to transfer force to the bar via the hips and traps and not with the arms. Once you can do this let the arms bend BUT DONT PULL WITH THEM. While working on this basic progression try to improve you OH squat and teach yourself to do a drop snatch, this will get you used to pushing yourself under the bar while it is stationary at the apex of the lift.

Once you can do this, lower the blocks and start the progression over until you are pulling from the floor. It takes time, but getting the mechanics down will build a thick back and you'll have sound form and a gracefull snatch.

If your really into it, check The Weightlifting Encyclopedia or any of the translated texts at Elitefts.


They're a great exercise, but won't really help much on the barbell snatch. It'll strengthen the muscles, sure, but the coordination is pretty different. Think of them as a completely seperate entity.



You could also learn the split version instead. The learning curve is shorter and the move isnt as reliant on a lot of hip and shoulder flexibility.


No the DB snatch will not help transfer technique to your snatching. When we trained new lifters, often we had them do what is called a muscle snatch and drop snatches with just the bar before workouts. They are basically a power snatch with no rebend of the knees allowed for the muscle snatch, and the drop snatch is you start out at full extension (hips in and up, on toes, fully shrugged) then you pull rapidly under the bar for the drop snatch. These help newer lifters who tend to either bend their arms and/or punch their hips in too much, resulting in a swinging arc of the bar which will cause you to lose it behind. I have some very basic pics of different positions through a clean and snatch here if they might help at all. Note that the angle the back forms with the hips should not change with the first pull, only you basically just push you knees back and get ready to engage the hips later on. Always keep pushing back on the heels, never on the toes, and keep those arms straight until well into the second pull. They always told us 'when the arm bends the power ends.' Hope some of this rambling might help.



We gotta turn this into a complete-the-caption contest. Any other takers?


Dude! Some calves you got there!


Dude - If it's hard, it's not a snatch....


Lol, thanks Krollmonster, they used to be enormous when I was about twenty pounds heavier and doing weight training, I have just been running and doing bodyweight exercises lately. Legs I have been genetically blessed in, now if I could just get my girly upper body to join in lol. On a side note, take it for what its worth since like I said I dont need to train calves, but they did grow larger when I was doing lots of uphill sprints and running bleachers. Take care, Adam.


beef- You have a wicked low back arch in the last pic, too. That's one area I'm still working on.


where are the knees supposed to rebend? I dont understand this, its hard to do even slow... how can you stand and rebend your knees before your back gets upright?


It's kind of subtle. Here is some cool footage of Dimas training, which includes his snatch and C&J training. Sometimes these images help.



Ross Hunt, it will come with practice. One thing that helped me maintain a tight back when I was just starting was pulls to the knee. Loading is generally medium to medium heavy (Say you can clean 130 then you would do a lot of these in the 90-110 range). Just get down there set up nice and tight, retract the shoulder blades and get set to pull.

Now making sure you keep the same angle between your hips and back, just push back at the knee until the bar is about at the bottom to middle or your knee cap. Hold for a 1 or 2 count and reset for the next rep. We would do those in sets of 3 sometimes 5s with lighter weight.

Or once you hold for the 2 count you can continue on into a high pull. Mostly just pull to knee and hold though. What it should really look like is your shoulders are nice and far over the bar, then you start pushing those knees back, the bar should travel a pretty much vertical path (dont pull it back into you) so that when you hit the knee your shins should be abuot vertical with a slight angle from the knee up to the butt.

This will help you initiate with your hamstrings and use the low back to stabilize the first part, it will also help with keeping nice and tight and arched. If you have trouble with this you might want to work on ham exercises that involve hip flexion, we would do hypers with those giant rubber bands (the ones the powerlifters use for bench and such) and really accelerate at the top, step ups onto 18" or so box and so on. Take care, Adam.