The Snatch Speed Killer – “The Shrug”

By Drew Dillon
Jul 28 2019

The Snatch Speed Killer – “The Shrug”

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.

The Fix 

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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top