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Old 11-11-2008, 07:08 PM   #1
Emily Mattes
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 727
Default Mastering the squat snatch (and squat clean)

I am having a devil of a time with squat snatches. I can't seem to catch the lift in even a parallel squat, and catching in a full squat has so far only been possible with an extremely light bar. I'm having similar problems with cleans, though to a lesser degree.

I've been doing drop squats and snatches with PVC throughout the day and weighted drop snatches in the weight room. I practice tall cleans/snatches. The issue is as soon as the weight gets heavy, I'm back to power snatching/cleaning it. My work with light weights isn't taking! Does anyone have more suggestions on how to train myself to catch in a squat? Do more of what I'm doing? Spend lots of time sitting in the hole during overhead squats?

I think it's also tied to my serious lack of speed in getting under the bar, for what it's worth, so any advice along those lines would also be appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:15 PM   #2
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 694

Welcome to my world.

About three weeks ago, I began a journey. A journey to learn how to get under the bar. To do so, I've found that I need to do a lot of tall versions of the lift.

But beyond that, to not corrupt what I've learned on the first pull, I've found that the following rep scheme is actually resulting in me learning how to do the darn lifts with a full movement.

Tall snatch. High Hang Snatch. Slightly lower high hang snatch. Hang snatch from the knee. Hang snatch below the knee. And finally pull the bugger from the ground.

Start out with the pvc, bars, etc. And just accept humility and slowly work your way forward. That's what I'm doing. I'm doing the same with my squat cleans - tall clean, high hang clean, etc. On the fifth rep during the set, I'm pulling from the floor.

I'm keeping track of it in my log here to note my progress. I still suck, but I suck less now than I did three weeks ago.

Be patient and enjoy.

All the best,
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #3
Greg Everett
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,838

Heavy overhead squats and snatch balances - develop the strength and stability in that bottom position, and you'll find you'll be much better able to pull under heavier weights. Arden's suggestions are also good.

Keep in mind as well that even the heaviest snatches will not actually be received in a full squat - they'll be received higher and ridden down into the bottom. That said, there needs to be a smooth transition between those two points, and that's something that comes with experience and time.

Keep working that bottom position with heavy weights, keep working the light technique and speed drills, and keep forcing yourself to pull under the bar. Just do it.
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