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Old 05-29-2008, 07:57 AM   #1
Jamie J. Skibicki
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 59
Default Getting low on clean and snatch

I've always done the power versions of both excercizes so getting low on the catch for both is rather difficult for me. I can front squat and OH squat deeply with more weight then I can use for the clean and snatch respectively. I think I'm just not comfortable catching the weight low.

My plan to address this is to do more warm up sets (okay DO warm up sets) and force myself into a low position while doing the warm ups. Is there anything else I should be doing? I did a search for sntach and clean form checks, but all the ones I found were of a finer detail than I currently need.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:38 AM   #2
Bill Ripley
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 54

Quoting Gary Valentine...

While its certainly possible to learn power versions first then squat lifts, Ive had better success teaching squat versions first. Under the eye of a qualified caoch each workout, the lifter will be instructed to pull properly, i.e, similarly to the squat versions. There should be no difference in the pull, whether power or squat style. In reality though, many beginners who train on their own resort to a back swing- heavy-single-thing which not only doesn't apply to squat lifts, but probably inhibits learning them when it becomes an ingrained motor pattern (I know this from experience!).

I teach the snatch balance sequence outlined in USAW Club caoch manual, but I go from the Drop Snatch to "Snatch from Full Extension, to Hang Snatch to Snatch from floor. I've had great success with it. I'm in no way saying its the only way, but it works.

Practice the Drop Snatch a lot. That's standing with empty bar, snatch grip, behind neck as if to squat. Put your feet in the pull position however. Just drop down into an overhead squat, picking feet up to move out to slightly wider squat stance. Here's the catch - when you get good at those, start with knees slightly bent, so the bar starts even lower. This is all for learning body speed, essential to lifting great weights, and I believe what sets OL apart form other barbell feats. There's something about throwing yourself under a limit weight thats a bit crazy and exciting!

Then go to snatch from full extension. I've posted on this before, so check through the notebook. You may need a lighter bar, or more emphasis on pulling body under bar. The bar is higher in full extension than in the bottom of an Overhead Squat, so its all a race. I simply ask my lifters to show me how fast they can get into the squat and start coming up before the bar starts coming down.

Gary Valentine
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:45 AM   #3
Yuen Sohn
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 957

Bill, looks like we're on the same page. I was just about to post a compilation someone at The P&B put together of Gary's stuff (a lot of which pertains to improving the full versions of the lifts)

More here:
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
Bill Ripley
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 54

Hey hey - exactly where I pulled that from. He has an excellent blurb on getting under the bar for the squat clean as well.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:45 AM   #5
Jamie J. Skibicki
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 59

Thanks guys. I did some real light form work yesterday using some info from G. Valentine (thanks for the links). I'm going to do full cleans and snatches today instead of the power and see what happens.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
Gary Valentine
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 24
Default Gary who?!:-)

boy that was strange! i usually go to the weightlifting forum, and happened to click into the exercises portion. i'm reading the original post, thinking of replying, then scroll down to see my quote as reply!

well anyway here i am, ask away. yes its a common mistake to focus on "pulling it higher" when in fact there is relatively no power once the bar gets past about waist height. so, a vital part of a weightlifters trainigng should be in practicing that part, and the timing of putting all you have into pushing the bar from the ground to standing heigh with arms straight, then flying down. as i said, i dont even teach the power clean or snatch, and its amazing how perfectly my lifters can do a power version if they want to, after elarning only sqaut versions. hang sqaut cleans, hang sqaut snatches for triples, and heavy singles, are great for this. i cant get on youtube here at work, but im sure if you google it you can find a clip of me doing 151 i beleive, and theres also an old 145, clean from the hang as illustration. (did triple with 140 yesterday)
:-) -g
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