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Pull Down for a Better Turnover in the Snatch & Clean
Greg Everett

Having external rotation strength to turn the bar over in the snatch or having quick elbows in the turnover of the clean is great, but you can't have a quick turnover in either lift without accelerating down adequately first. The turnover itself is not and will never be a strong movement. Think of your shoulder pre-hab/re-hab external rotation exercises: how much resistance can you use? Very little, especially relative to the weights you're snatching and cleaning. What allows the turnover to happen at all, let alone be quick, is momentum. The movement is a follow-through, and it can't occur if you're not moving down under the bar quickly enough already. In order for that to happen, you need to actively PULL down: this is the third pull. After you've completed your final explosive hip and knee extension, move the feet and pull the elbows as high as possible and out to the sides. This action is what changes your direction at the top of the pull and gets you moving down under the bar with enough speed that you can turn the bar over into the receivng position powerfully. Try some tall snatches and tall cleans to feel what it means to really pull down rather than just falling under the bar.

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, coach of the USA Weightlifting National Champion team Catalyst Athletics, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, co-host of the Weightlifting Life Podcast, and publisher of The Performance Menu journal. He is an Olympic Trials coach, coach of over 30 senior national level or higher lifters, including national medalists, national champion and national record holder; as an athlete, he is a fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion, masters American Open champion, and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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3 Comments
Troy L Scoggins 2014-01-01
Great point! So very very important!
Mike K 2014-10-16
What's a good weight for a tall snatch/clean? I do them with the bar as part of my warm-up but it's not nearly enough to feel the third pull. Would you ever take this to a daily max or just something light-ish like 50%? Thanks!
Steve Pan 2014-10-20
Tall snatch or clean should be fairly light. 50% is pretty heavy for a tall snatch most 25-30% would be good to aim for and I would not work to a heavy single.
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