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View Full Version : Striking a balance between speed under the bar and full extension


Daniel Villarreal
05-03-2014, 04:22 AM
This is what I always seem to struggle with on the snatch. Either I try to rush the third pull and while I manage to get some decent speed under the bar, I end up half-assing my way through the second pull. When it's left unfinished, the bar never reaches full lockout at the optimal zone and instead, I catch it way too much to the front. With lighter weights this isn't an issue, as I can use shoulder strength to push the bar back those few inches to reach equilibrium. When I reach something in excess of 90%, the shoulders just don't have what it takes to compensate. Essentially, when I try to be fast under the bar I fail heavier lifts a lot.

On the other hand, if I try to be sure I finish the second pull properly, I often go too far and end up overextending and being ridiculously slow under the bar. Then I get snatches where I pull the bar up to my forehead level but still don't manage to make it under the bar on time. Frustrating.

Every now and then I seem to find the perfect balance between speed and a strong pull, but it's something I consistantly struggle with. I was wondering what (apart from continuing the basic technique work) could help find that sweet spot? Any drills, exercises, other tips that generally work?

Thanks anyone / everyone in advance for any input.

Nic Branson
05-04-2014, 05:16 AM
The realization bit for me was using my traps to start the pull under the bar, not using them elevate the bar. It's the physics equal and opposite reaction, by pulling hard on the bar I am pulling myself down. I don't have it mastered by far, but it did start to transition my technique to catching lower and faster. Also ensuring a close bar bath.

Blake Barnes
05-05-2014, 11:31 AM
It's tough to really time that part out. I would suggest some Dip Snatches and more block work (from the knee or above the knee).

From personal experience, I've noticed that doing reps on-the-minute helps out with consistency. So maybe try some Block Snatches OTM.

Daniel Villarreal
05-06-2014, 10:19 AM
Nic: Thanks. That's very true. I do manage to pull myself under the bar (normally), but that often leaves the second pull incomplete. What I'm experiencing seems to be a timing issue more than anything else. It's a good visual image to keep in mind, though.

Blake: thanks for the tips. I think I have been neglecting box work recently, and it probably shows, and I've actually never done dip snatches in my life. Had to look up the exercise in fact. Both sound like a good idea. OTM work does as well. I'll give all of them a go.