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View Full Version : Can't Snatch Bad Clean


Rhys Davies
12-06-2013, 01:30 PM
I have been doing strength training consistently for the past 10 years, and attempted to learn the Olympic lifts about 7 years ago but quickly gave up and went back to my normal workout exercises. However, I decided this summer I would re-start to learn the lifts and not stop until I was able to do them. There are no Olympic lifting gyms near me so I resorted to learn them via instructional DVD's. I ended up buying 2 DVD's, 1 by Coach Dos and another soon after, by Wil Flemming.

Although not loaded with information they seemed pretty good and both advocated learning the Clean first. After 4 months of training for 30min 4 times a week solely on the Clean, I was not able to get higher than a 1RM of 85kg, and with a body weight of 94kg this did not seem good at all. I then proceeded to buy Greg Everett's book, soon followed by the DVD and was blown away by the content and knowledge. I then filmed myself doing a Clean and it became apparent that I had poor technique and was ripping the barbell up with lots of technical issues (early arm bend, catching with body upright and back arched backwards). I have now reverted to a hang clean, which has stopped the early arm bend, but I am still catching the bar with my body upright and back arched backwards.

In Greg's book he suggests starting to learn the Snatch first. However, I cannot learn the Snatch yet, due to flexibility issues (even with the overhead squat), and I have started an aggressive program of flexibility/mobility training (30min 4 times a week) to rectify the problems as soon as possible. But what should I do in the mean time, perceiver with the Clean or stop all Olympic lifting training until I can start learning the Snatch correctly? Secondly, if it is worth keeping on training with the Clean, then why am I catching with my body upright and back arched backwards?

Tamara Reynolds
12-09-2013, 02:22 PM
If your back is arched backwards, then you aren't getting yourself into a strong power position on the catch. Learning this position is crucial.

We also teach our lifters to snatch first. Is your only issue the overhead squat? Can you get yourself into safe and strong positions to power snatch?

Blake Barnes
12-11-2013, 07:55 AM
It's hard to critique you without a video. But if I'm understanding correctly, it sounds like you're just catching the bar with your hips too far forward. You DO want to have an upright torso when receiving both the Clean and the Snatch but I don't know about the backwards-arched back.

As far as the mobility issues go, you can still work Overhead Squats and Snatches but you just won't be able to get as low as you want to. Only squat down as low as your body will let you. With time and all the mobility work you're doing now, your range of motion will improve. But patience is key in this situation.

If you have a video of yourself, feel free to post it for some feedback.