Quit Scraping Your Shins in the Snatch & Clean
Greg Everett

While we always want to keep the bar as close to the body as possible throughout the pull of the snatch and clean, contact at the shins or knees that causes scraping or any noticeable collision is problematic and indicative of an error in the position or movement. There are a few possible causes:

Shoulders Behind the Bar

If the shoulders are behind the bar rather than above or slightly in front of it, the bar will naturally want to swing back against the legs to center itself under the shoulder joint. This can occur at any point, including in the starting position. The solution, of course, is to correct the lifter’s posture and movement in the pull. Exercises that will help include:

• Snatch/clean deadlift
• Floating snatch/clean deadlift
• Halting snatch/clean deadlift
• Snatch/clean segment deadlift (pause 1 inch off floor, knee, mid-thigh)
• Snatch/clean deadlift + snatch/clean
• Floating snatch/clean deadlift + snatch/clean
• Halting snatch/clean deadlift + snatch/clean
• Slow-pull snatch/clean
• Segment snatch/clean (pause 1 inch off floor and knee)

Cues to help encourage the proper position include:

• Shoulders over the bar
• Stay over it
• Adjust the hips higher (if appropriate)

Pushing Bar Back Excessively

The bar may still scrape the shins and/or hit the knees when the shoulders are positioned correctly relative to it if the athlete is attempting to push the bar too far back in the effort to maintain proximity at a given point of the lift. The lifter simply needs to adjust this effort and practice the movement properly. The same exercises listed above for the previous cause can be used here. Cues will consist simply of reminders for the athlete to avoid pushing the bar back excessively.

Premature Second Pull

This is essentially the same as the first cause above—that is, the shoulders move behind the bar before they should.

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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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Josh 2018-02-15
Or knees not extending vertically at the right time?
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