We all want to lift more weight, more speed, and with more power in the snatch and clean. Sometimes we blame our progress on our strength, and other times we assume it must be technique. The fix highlighted in the article deals with one specific point in your technique. I’ve seen it help 99% of the athletes I’ve been privileged to train.
When the bar is coming off the hip (at that point of driving the legs) pull yourself under the bar from the first… not the shrug. This video breaks it all down with more details below.
A 25lb PR Lesson
When first learning the Olympic lifts it is very common for us to try to pull the bar as high as we can. It often isn’t a thought and new athletes rarely realize that is what they’re trying to do.
Personally, I had a big challenge using my arms correctly in the snatch and clean. When I was first learning, it just made sense to me when to give it a big HEAVE off that hip… getting a shrug involved trying to get the bar higher. What I learned was that shrug was limiting me in huge way.
Then there was a break through for me! My best lifts easily jumped by 25lbs when my thought process changed. What was the new cue? – Use my arms to pull myself down in the lift.
Good weightlifters are often characterized by snappy movement in the snatch and clean. Pop! Then that lifter is under the bar. Changing your emphasis from “shoulders and arms trying to pull higher (shrugging)” to your “arms pulling you down from the fist” can help you do the same!
The Shrug is Slow
At the point of leg drive when the bar is at its peak speed our main objective is to change direction and get under the bar!
- Trying to pull the bar higher in the moment off the hip allows the bar to start to slow down before we can change direction to get under the bar.
- If the bar starts to slow down before we change direction then it turns into a race against gravity.
- Our goal is for the bar to be going up as we’re going down under the bar.
Test Out Pulling From the Fist
The next step is to test pulling from the fist in your training. In the video, I highlight a test to perform with a friend. Do that! Then start with a power (snatch or clean) + freeze. Aim to have patience with the arms and then off the hip pull yourself down with the fist and FREEZE! Record yourself, analyze and adjust… this is the process!
Drew is a co-owner or Project Lift and 14 year veteran of coaching athletes. As a coach, Drew has been a personal coach at the 2015 World Championship and has helped 2012 Olympian Holley Mangold through training from 2011 to 2016. He has also led multiple athletes to national competitions. As an athlete, Drew placed his highest of 4th at a national competition.