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Martin Altemark 04-28-2008 06:10 AM

Critique my Snatch and C&J
Ok. Please go pretty easy on me since I know I don't lift that good. I am looking for advice on how to improve my olympic lifting (am self "learned", actually mostly thru articles in CFJ & PM). I weight about 73-74kg and my short term goals is to snatch (consistently, I have a problem with random misses) 60kg and C&J 80kg.

For example - why do I fail the snatches on 55kg? Inflexibility? Not aggressive enough under the bar? How are my pulls? Where to focus to improve the lifts?

Also - my Jerk is horrible. I know that.


Thank you in advance for your help!

Arden Cogar Jr. 04-28-2008 09:45 AM

I am a novice, so my commentary would not be as well placed as others in this community.

My initial reaction is that your overhead work placement is not in the right line. In other words, both your snatch and your jerk has you coming forward to get your center of gravity. Thus your receiving the weight overhead in front of where it needs to be.

During your snatch, you possibly should keep the bar closer to your body during the third pull and remember to think head and shoulders back as part of the ellipitical poriton of the third pull - to keep the bar going straight up - instead of forward.

I think your cleans look pretty good. You know your jerks need work - but I think it's along the same breath as the snatch alignment. The bar needs to be pushed straight up - not forward and up.

Again, I'm strictly a novice. So I would defer to others. Keep up the good work.

All the best,

Greg Everett 04-28-2008 09:58 AM

Snatch -

These actually look really good. I'd suggest widening your feet slightl in the starting position (maybe an inch or 2) and turning your toes out more. Right now your knees are directed pretty straight ahead - if you can get them out to the sides a bit, you'll get a better back/hip position.

The 55 wasn't bad at all - maybe a tiny bit short on the turnover, but minimal. The real issue is probably simply strength in that overhead position. I'd work more snatch balances and overhead squats, and maybe some muscle snatches and tall snatches to square away that turnover positioning.

Clean - same as the snatch - looks good for the most part. Looks like you jump forward evry slightly - try to get rid of that (just keep your weight a bnit farther back on your feet). The real issue is simply strength - more front squats.

Jerk - Hard to tell from that angle, but it looks like you have a good rack position. However, when you dip, you drop your chest and let your hips slip backward. I'd also shorten your depth considerably. Keep the hips directly under the shoulders as you dip - completely vertical bar path both down and up. That dip is why you push the bar forward like that. Your footwork was probably fine - the bar and your COM was just too far forward over it. Try working a push-press + jerk complex with a short dip and focusing on the vertical dip positioning.

Martin Altemark 04-29-2008 01:15 PM

Thank you!
Thank you very much for your input guys. Will work on strength and work on my dips!

Leslie Poole 05-10-2008 01:47 PM

I hate to offer advice, especially after Greg, but I thought it looked like you weren't getting full extension of your hips on your clean. It is crucial for me to focus on getting full extension, and I train that with KB swings and box jumps to emphasize the "jump" into extension. Again, not sure that's awesome info, just my thoughts. I thought that snatch looked pretty good.

Martin Altemark 05-14-2008 01:52 AM

Thanks for the input
Getting full hip extension is something I am working on. Hips tends to stay a little closed, especially when weight is heavy (near my max).

I am in my last week on the mass gain program and it's been horribly boooooring coming from the CrossFit/WOD world, but now I start to reap the benfits! Second strength week is done and I managed to get that 55kg Snatch this week, as well as 82,5kg Jerk! Really happy with this, and some of it can probably be credited to your comments. The Jerk part och the C&J is still not good at all, but I am feeling more comfident with the movement so it will hopefully get better as well. Just keep on working, right?

Some more footage if you want to add something:

Getting close to fullfill my OL goals for the year (80kg C+J/60kg S) with the C&J already bagged and the snatch improving.

Thank you for your help!

Martin Altemark 08-02-2008 12:34 AM

OK - new critique
I have been improving my snatch since last time. Here are some new films I'd really appreciate getting some input on. Why do I fail the 62.5kg snatch? Too weak shoulders or more errors? Other stuff I need to improve to be able to reach the BW snatch I long for (74kg).


Thank you for your help!

Jacob Rowell 08-02-2008 09:56 AM

We share a similar problem - you're looping the bar out in front of you. You can see it on the 60kg snatch, and I believe it's what's causing you to fail at 62.5.

First, your hips are rising slightly on the 1st pull. When entering the 2nd pull, you're leaning over a good bit. As you start the 2nd pull, you're slamming your hips into the bar (I'm surprised it doesn't hurt!) and throwing the weight forward.

Think about keeping your chest up through the 1st pull, and driving through the ground with your feet, not lifting with your back like a deadlift. "Get tall" during the 2nd pull, and get your elbows high (think scarecrow), pulling the bar into you. You need to figure out what keeps you from slamming your hips into the bar and looping it out in front of you.

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