Get Cozy Down There: Improving The Snatch & Jerk Receiving Positions
January 16 2013
Something I can't stand is watching lifters with weak or inconsistent bottom positions in the snatch rush out of the squat and drop the bar partway up, even in power snatches (this applies to jerks as well). These same athletes will often also complain about missing big attempts that "felt so easy" because they can't secure the bar overhead long enough to recover successfully.
This to me is such an obvious fix, that having to remind people drives me crazy. If this describes you, easily the best advice I can give you is this: From now on, until you never drop a snatch or jerk from overhead unintentionally, hold every snatch, power snatch, jerk, power jerk, overhead squat or snatch balance in the receiving position for 2-3 seconds before recovering. And when you do recover, hold onto the bar for a second before you drop it.
I can't tell you what wonders this incredibly simple act will do for your lifts. You don't have to add new exercises to your program or more than a few seconds to each workout. You'll also find that this will expose a lot of instablity you may not have even known existed. So many lifters get in the habit of dropping lifts as they stand, and this masks imbalance or instability that then becomes extremely obvious when they're forced to actually hold onto the bar. Nothing like going to a competition and getting three red lights for a lift you made easily because you couldn't or didn't hold it long enough to get a down signal.
This applies to power snatches and power jerks too (even power cleans, really). Often athletes want to begin standing from the power receiving position immediately, which can frequently mean before they're actually done locking it out (or racking it in the power clean). This just makes it easy to get soft overhead and press these lifts out. Suck it up and make this tiny bit of additional effort, and I promise it will pay off down the line.