Spread the Bar, But Not That Way: Holding the Snatch Overhead
Greg Everett

A lot of people have been cued to "spread the bar" or "pull the bar apart" when overhead in the snatch. I'm not a big fan of this cue, because in my mind, the effort to pull a bar apart means gripping it tightly. A tight grip on the bar overhead and/or as you're trying to finalize the lockout will slow the elbow extension down and limit how well the elbows can ext

If you want to think of spreading the bar, do it by pushing the bar apart through youir palms. Push the palms to the sides away from the elbows and keep the grip loose. This idea of pushing will also help you flip the hands and secure the bar overhead as you transition from pulling under the bar to punching down under it when receiving the snatch.

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the USA Weightlifting National Champion team Catalyst Athletics, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, publisher of The Performance Menu journal, fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion, masters American record holder in the clean & jerk, and Olympic Trials coach. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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Steve 2012-08-29
Great suggestion, Ive recently been struggling withthisaspect of my snatch, thanks!
Constantine 2012-10-10
I discovered this queue for myself when getting into squat jerking and clean grip overhead squatting. I think the important thing to realize when you are 'spreading the bar' is it is cue designed to get you to activate your scaps and pull then back to create a strong base to support the weight (and help you put the bar in a position where you can stay balanced in the bottom of the squat) rather than a cue for getting a good grip or something...
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