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Pull Down for a Better Turnover
Greg Everett

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Having external rotation strength to turn the bar over in the snatch or having quick elbows in the turnover of the clean is great, but you can't have a quick turnover in either lift without accelerating down adequately first. The turnover itself is not and will never be a strong movement. Think of your shoulder pre-hab/re-hab external rotation exercises: how much resistance can you use? Very little, especially relative to the weights you're snatching and cleaning. What allows the turnover to happen at all, let alone be quick, is momentum. The movement is a follow-through, and it can't occur if you're not moving down under the bar quickly enough already. In order for that to happen, you need to actively PULL down: this is the third pull. After you've completed your final explosive hip and knee extension, move the feet and pull the elbows as high as possible and out to the sides. This action is what changes your direction at the top of the pull and gets you moving down under the bar with enough speed that you can turn the bar over into the receivng position powerfully. Try some tall snatches and tall cleans to feel what it means to really pull down rather than just falling under the bar.


Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the national-medalist Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, publisher of The Performance Menu, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, and director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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3 Comments
Troy L Scoggins 2014-01-01
Great point! So very very important!
Mike K 2014-10-16
What's a good weight for a tall snatch/clean? I do them with the bar as part of my warm-up but it's not nearly enough to feel the third pull. Would you ever take this to a daily max or just something light-ish like 50%? Thanks!
Steve Pan 2014-10-20
Tall snatch or clean should be fairly light. 50% is pretty heavy for a tall snatch most 25-30% would be good to aim for and I would not work to a heavy single.
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