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Old 06-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
Michael Abbruzzese
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Default getting under the snatch

I'm having trouble getting under the bar in the snatch. Warming up its no problem but as soon as the weight gets a little heavy on me I crap out. The thing is I wind up power snatching it with little dip, so obviously the strength is there. Also, if I ride it down into the overhead squat, I'm solid in the bottom and recover well. Its in between where I'm having trouble. If I catch it in the power position I feel awkward and unbalanced but if I catch it high or ride it all the way down I'm solid. Also, I'm having a little anxiety (or a lot) about pulling under a bar with weight and catching it all the way in the hole.

I was thinking of doing lots of hang snatches, OHS and snatch balances with lighter weights to train the motor pattern of getting under the bar. I'm just afraid that as soon as I try to put a little weight on the bar that anxiety might kick in again, no matter how much technique work I do. Am I on the right path?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
Greg Everett
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You're on the right track. Snatch push press, overhead squat and snatch balance will help you build the overhead strength and confidence. Aim at this point to be able to lift more in all of those than you can snatch.

Then work tall snatches, high-hang or high block snatches in the mean time, but never exceed weights at which you can no longer do it correctly - use pulls and the above exercises to build the strength, and use these exercises to ingrain the movement.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
Michael Abbruzzese
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Thanks. Will do.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:24 AM   #4
Michael Abbruzzese
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Default form check

http://youtu.be/gITSPYslaew

Here's a vid of me doing a snatch balance + OHS complex. I've never recorded myself before and right away I noticed some things that I do that I didn't realize while doing it. For one, is my head lurching forward too much? Also, I guess I'm not catching it as deep in the hole as I thought. Is this ok to ride it down as long as I punch the bar out and catch it overhead aggressively?

You'll also notice how as the weight gets heavier I tend to catch it higher and higher.

Side note...I'm completely self-taught and have solely relied on your books and this website for direction. Your comments will be the only coaching I will have recieved. I'm a stickler for technique so I just want to make sure that my positions are good or that I'm on the right track with the assistance exercises before I start posting me doing the full lifts for criticism, which I'm sure will be a mess. thanks.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:28 AM   #5
Michael Abbruzzese
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P.S. Sorry about the mirrors, its the gym at my work. But I guess it helps to see me from front and back.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
Greg Everett
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You do shift forward as you're setting into the squat, which the forward head position can cause or exacerbate, but it looks to me in this case it's probably just more of a lower body flexibility issue. However, keeping your head up a bit more will probably help. Next time you do these, make it your goal to keep your head and torso position the same as it is when you have the bar racked on your back - that is, just a slight forward incline of the torso and the head pushed forward just a bit. If you can't do it, you'll know for sure your hips/ankles are too tight and that in order to get into a better position, you'll really need to stretch them out.

Regarding catching high and riding down, that's fine to a degree - you never want to receive in the absolute rock bottom, primarily because it's extremely difficult to stabilize the bar and is very jarring. But you can definitely try to receive it a bit lower than you currently are. Your movement is very good - just try to put even less leg drive into it - keep the dip/drive movement/timing the same, but just reduce the upward force a little, and that will force you to push down lower. As the weight increases, obviously the leg drive will need to increase a bit accordingly, but your goal should be always to catch it as deep as possible, considering that the max depth should never be absolute bottom.

Your receiving depth does decrease as the weight increases, and you can see the decrease in stability. Always forcing yourself to receive the weights as low as possible even when they're light will help with this by making that lower receiving position more comfortable and natural, and improving your confidence. Continue working up to the heavier weights especially in the OHS to keep improving the basic strength and mobility in the bottom position, and that will transfer over to the snatch balance.
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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

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American Weightlifting: The Documentary
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