View Full Version : Snatch Form

Timothy Plunkett
12-10-2012, 01:58 PM
I get so many damn things I think I could do to make it better that I need to just ask someone who knows and then work those exact things. Please feel free to make fun of all of my weird tics and pre lift movements as well as my lack of mobility.


Thank you so much for all you do. I'd be lost w/out the resources and information you provide!

carlos cruz
12-11-2012, 04:42 AM
your video is set on private, I can't watch it.

Timothy Plunkett
12-11-2012, 01:24 PM
yeah, i'm special when it comes to youtube. in that, I don't know how to use it. that should work now. any feedback is appreciated, even that which mocks.

Keith Miller
12-13-2012, 09:58 AM
You're banging the bar away from you in the second pull. Watch the vid, right after your hip bump, you need to keep that bar much closer to you, don't let it get away from you. Think of trying to keep your thumbs running up along your body until you get under and catch!!

Timothy Plunkett
12-13-2012, 04:09 PM
Makes sense. I can feel that ... literally ... as I have started to get bruised. Thing is ... it wasn't always this way. I'm not sure how I developed this smashing.

My biggest hint was that I keep jumping forward to complete the lift. Or the bruising. Ha.

Well, now to attempt to FIX it.

Greg Everett
12-14-2012, 11:36 AM
Think of moving the bar back into your hips rather than moving your hips into the bar. Relax your arms and focus on engaging your lats instead to push the bar in against your body, and as you transition under, pull the elbows up and out.

Timothy Plunkett
12-23-2012, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the help folks. I'm heading back to lighter weights and more bar work to try and rectify the banging situation.

To give some background/clarity my max snatch is 205# and my max power snatch is 195# and my max OHS is 255#. I miss heavy snatch attempts forward (always miss forwards, 1/100 are backwards) and land in my toes (after jumping forward) on snatches. I find this to be LESS the case w/ the power snatch and I do notice I bang less (well, it hurts me less) ... perhaps it is why my power snatch is so close to the snatch?

Obviously my issue is hitting the bar away with the hips and chasing. My assumption is that I want my energy going more vertical & less horizontal?

In an attempt to get the bar closer & get the elbows high and outside I've started working the tall snatch. For example I will do 3 shrugs + 1 tall snatch x 3 x 5 when warming up.
From the pockets or the tall snatch I can get more 'vertical' and slam the bar less with my hips. I don't jump forward & have a tendency to land weighted midfoot. Simply put, everything feels way better. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it feels awesome.

The issue is, even moving to mid thigh (especially when moving to top of the knees) in the hang I find myself bashing at the bar w/ my hips. I'm not expecting it to magically change over night as I've probably been doing this for the past year ... so correcting it will take time. I understand the concept of engaging the lats more as Greg suggested ... and I try my damndest but I worry that I just reinforce the poor movement when I go to the hang and the bang occurs so I've started to avoid it.

Sorry for the wordiness. I am simply frustrated that I can bear a certain amount of weight over head, get a certain amount of weight more than high enough to theoretically snatch it ... but am foiled by poor technique.
Is the tall snatch a good place to be starting? I've been working in the muscle snatch (light, in warmup complexes) to work the pattern and keep the bar tight as well.
Blocks? Power only?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Sorry for the novel.

Josh Hernandez
12-23-2012, 08:26 PM
I think the best thing you can work on is cleaning up your first pull. I think you do a lot of things right but without that good first pull, it's kind of hard to fix it later. I'm 100% with what Greg said. Pull the bar in with your lats. I think you should pull in as soon as you pull it off the floor. Check out Ilyan's bar path


And here's yours.


I think if you pull it in as soon as you come off the floor you'll have the bar in a much better place and you won't bang it away as much. And Greg really hit the nail on the head: pull the bar to you, not hips to the bar and loosen up your arms. If you really work on anything, I would drill that first pull up to the knees and make sure you stay over the bar and keep it close to your body. With your numbers, I think you can hit 100k pretty easily.

Greg Everett
12-26-2012, 11:59 AM
Often the forward jumping is less of a problem w a power snatch than a snatch because w the snatch you're more focused on elevating the bar (i.e. getting things moving vertically) and on the snatch you're more focused on getting under it, which can mean that you end up cutting the extension short or not continuing to drive w the legs all the way through the extension for fear of slowing down your transition at the top.

As Josh said, practice the first pull, don't just do only hang or block lifts. Halting snatch deadlifts and pulls or complexes with both can be really helpful. On halting DLs, halt w the bar at the hip - practice moving the bar back off the floor and keeping it as close to your thighs as possible until it comes into full contact at the hips. When you get comfortable with this, you can do complexes w halting DL + snatch.

You can also try power snatch + snatch - on the snatch, make sure you're pulling the same way and still trying to turn the bar over and secure it overhead as high as you can, but then continuing smoothly into the squat (note, this doesn't mean over-pulling, it just means don't dive down into a squat and put yourself farther down then where you need to be to meet the bar).

Timothy Plunkett
12-28-2012, 04:50 AM
Josh & Greg,

Thanks a ton for all the help, I truly appreciate it! I'm going to plug away and see what I can get.

Thanks again,


Timothy Plunkett
01-11-2013, 06:30 AM
I took everything (literally) that has been suggested and implemented it.

After rowing & joint prep + mobility (just weaknesses) I do a complex w/ the bar every day.

5 halting sn dl + 5 sn pull + 5 muscle snatch + 5 bhtn sn press + 5 OHS for 3 rds ... something like that. Changes between snatch and clean, movements change but even if I'm not snatching or cleaning, I do the complex. I don't rush the movements but focus on making each movement perfect, every time.

I've been concentrating on sweeping the bar in and have been doing halting snatch deadlifts with decent weight once or twice a week. I've also been doing pulls.

I managed to clean up the 'bang' pretty quick w/ any weight that is below 75%. I'm now at around 90% of my max consistently bang free. Still working on keeping the bar tighter as I pull under BUT it takes time.

Today went for a max and hit 210# in the snatch for a 5# pr. Best part was, no bang and was weighted evenly in the foot while in the squat making it feel really easy.

Thanks again guys!

Greg Everett
01-11-2013, 10:32 AM
Nice work!

Timothy Plunkett
01-14-2013, 05:25 AM

Now a few more questions. Bahahaha.
Watching some misses from the other night I noticed an early arm pull (in the snatch) which resulted in me looping the bar out in front of my face. Seems to put me in my toes (of course).

These misses were at 90% so I went back and checked some lighter reps (60-80) and the arm pull wasn't there, loop was greatly reduced and I wouldn't jump forward/catch in my toes.

What I've also noticed, w/ my halting snatch deadlift, is that I reach a weight (about 85% of my snatch) where my form changes. Hips and shoulders don't rise in unison and I am less able to sweep the bar into my hips.
My thought is that it is around this weight where I compensate with an early arm bend in an attempt to get the bar into my hips during the snatch? Does that sound logical?

My thought is to work 5 x 3 Halting Sn DL at the weight JUST below my breaking point and to creep that up. When I do these my lats feel like blowing off of my back (in a good way) so I figure I am lacking something in that movement.
After the 5 x 3, to work on hips & shoulders rising in unison, I was thinking some heavier singles or doubles in the snatch deadlift. Try to strengthen that movement?
I do tall snatches, to reduce the ability to bend early and to pattern the bar close to the face, but the weight there is obviously limited.

Should I keep my reps below the weight where I arm bend, to avoid making that a habit? My thought is I can push my max up from below and have perfect reps versus just ending up muscling it up w/ compromised form.

Does this seem logical? Any suggestions and if I'm way out in left field w/ my thought process, let me know!

Thanks again!


Greg Everett
01-16-2013, 09:43 AM
early arm pull can definitely be the result of being out of balance forward. fix your balance problem, and that will likely resolve itself.

keeping the halting DLs to weights that you can do them perfectly or it completely defeats the purpose. if you take it past this point, you are just continuing to train the problem. if you do heavier sn DLs, same rule applies: if you can't do it right, it's too heavy.

try warming up your snatches with a halting sn DL + snatch to further ingrain that proper movement/balance. you don't have to stop snatching heavier than that point, but you do have to work to make every snatch correct, and do more volume of good reps than bad.

Josh Hernandez
01-19-2013, 05:51 AM
Tim, I'm not surprised you're hitting big weights! Put up some videos when you get a chance!
And check your grip with the higher weights. Are you gripping the hell out of the bar when it gets heavy? Is that tightness running up your arm? I've had the same issue. Because of some nasty calluses, I've had to use a lighter grip than I normally would and all of a sudden.....no early arm bend, arms stay loose. It's natural reaction to use the death grip when going heavier, I'm finding it's hard to loosen it up! Just a suggestion :)