View Full Version : Snatch curiosity

Brandon Oto
01-11-2008, 06:25 PM
Where did I go wrong here?

http://degreesofclarity.com/misc/crossfit/snatch_154_fail.mov wfs. This is at 154, my current PR.

Yeah, sure, arm bend, I know, but there's no shortage of height, so that's not it.

Is there a positional problem, or is there nothing more elaborate going on than I'm just soft at the catch and don't stabilize it sufficiently?

(You know your form needs work when you take three videos of three failures and you're doing different things wrong in all of them...)

Arden Cogar Jr.
01-11-2008, 07:10 PM
I'm not very good at them myself, but I do have a few comments.

1) the big thing I see in freezing the frames (I love quicktime because you can pause it and tap the bar and it freeze frame by frame) is that your not getting much drive from your legs - it's all back. Your hips don't change position through the 1st pull and really don't do that much in the second pull. I think you could benefit from having your hips a little lower at the start and working on using as much legs as you can during that first pull.

2) I also think you could have your chest out and your lats a little tighter at the bottom of the movement. You've got your shoulders ahead of the bar really well - but your back doesn't look good and tight - crush something between your lats and your triceps.

3) your elbows start to bend when the bar is at mid thigh. But your shoulders are really good and in front of the bar.

4) moreover, you get good full extension, you shrug tall even though you've already bent your elbows. I think that's good.

5) I thought the catch looked strong - it went back because the bar path was a bit a way from your body and you had to pull it back into you to catch it. I gotta say that you're third pull is impressive. I wish I had half that.

You're a heckuva lot further a long than me. I think you could get your legs more involved off the floor and that would help a lot. Then keep the bar closer to your body once it passes your navel. Other than that, I think it's good.

But I know very little. So please take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

All the best,


Arden Cogar Jr.
01-11-2008, 07:12 PM
OH, and what kind of socks are those? I gotta get me some of those. Seriously. I'm tearing the heck out of my shins when I clean/snatch/and deadlift. Plus my wife would definitely approve.

All the best,

Brandon Oto
01-12-2008, 05:17 AM
Just some big ski socks. From the trend my workout outfits are taking, I'm going to leave my gym for a yurt soon.

So I think I lost it because I kicked the bar forward, then overcompensated it backwards? In some other videos I have the bar going clearly forward (subtle but obvious), catching forward, and losing it forward, but I wasn't seeing it here so I wasn't sure. Would make sense.

The remedy: set up the rebend more fully -- and slowly -- and launch with a full extension.

Brian Degenaro
01-12-2008, 05:57 AM
Yeah, as Arden said, you could definitely pull your shoulders back more on the lift. You want to have a big chest before and while you pull of the ground. The other thing I'm noticing is on the catch your shoulders let the bar drift behind you as you descended into a squat.


-Big chest
-Pull slower off the ground, you're ripping it. It should be a gradual acceleration up to the knees and then jump (this'll also help you get more pop out of your hips, at least from my experience)

Brandon Oto
01-12-2008, 08:06 AM
I think I tend to be reluctant to pull my shoulders back on the snatch starting position, because it means you have to close your hips up even more, and my flexibility is already taxed with the snatch's lower deadlift.

Ryan Whitenack
01-12-2008, 10:06 PM
Also no expert, I thought it looked good though. You had the hardest part done it looked like. Mental block maybe?

Triple extension looked great. I think as long as you have that, much can be remedied.

This part is actually more of a question: is the bar too far back? 2 weeks ago I would have said yes, but I have seen such a wide variety of snatches lately that I am starting to think that is fairly normal.

The only thing I really think I see, hard to tell with the angle, is how far the bar is away from you on the way up.

I also thought initially that your grip isn't wide enough, but after another viewing I think it is--though are your hands symmetrical on the bar? They look a little off, but I'm guessing that it is due to perspective. However, the problem looks to be just in that left arm so maybe they are unbalanced.

Gonna use your video as motivation and teaching tool for getting in the deep catch. Good luck with >=154

Brandon Oto
01-13-2008, 06:31 AM
Grip's symmetrical; the angle is just weird. My snatch grip is index fingers on the outer rings so it's easy to find.

Bar is indeed a bit away from me on the first pull and quite a chunk away from me on the third pull. Not ideal.

What do you mean by too far back? On the catch? I lose it backwards, so it obviously is in some sense. It may also look like it's farther back than it is, because I don't have weightlifting shoes, so my torso angle at the bottom is less upright and the shoulder angle consequently has to be sharper.

Oliver Gould
01-13-2008, 11:29 AM
Hey Orandon Bto. Did you dump the bar because you couldn't stand up or did you lose it? It looks to me like you lost it because you caught it behind perpendicular to the floor. It's possible to OHS or catch a snatch behind that plane when its a lower weight (as opposed to forward, where you'll lose it just about instantly), but as the weight increases you need to catch it in that plane. Your shoulders can support a huge amount of weight overhead, but only if it's truly overhead. It looks like you got there because when you pull the bar off the ground, you use a fair amount of legs and also some back and arms. Like people already pointed out, using your back moves the bar away from you and causes an over compensation that leads to the bar going behind perpendicular to the floor.

The bottom of your squat doesn't look active. Try to stick the landing and keep your legs engaged when you catch the bar. This will keep you on your heals (you caught on your toes on that lift) and generally make it easier to stand up as the weight climbs. Also your start position is not active enough, your lower back has only a very slight arch and you're slumped forward. A start position like that encourages whipping the bar off the ground with your back. You know that you're strong, there's nothing to be gained in OLY lifting with heavy weight until you've perfected your form. In my lifting, I have a great form with 125 and poor form with 145. On 125 the bar moves in a straight line, I catch active on my heals etc. On 145 I have to whip the bar around to get it high enough, so I have poor form, catch on my toes etc. Just because I can muscle through that poor catch doesn't mean I should. It's better to perfect your form before you ramp up the weight. Remember, coach B doesn't let his kid lift more than a barbell for three or more months before they can add even a 10 pound plate! It takes a looooooong time to develop a really good snatch.

Brandon Oto
01-13-2008, 12:27 PM
Thanks Sly. I try and mix plenty of low-weight form work in as well, but I tend to find that I don't REALLY know what works unless I'm trying it at high weights and either sticking or dropping it, and with lifts like my snatch (that are still limited mainly by form), it's really clear when something's going right because my PR goes up.

This is sort of a poor man's way to make up for the lack of an actual coach critiquing each attempt. Sure, I can make and review films, and I do, but from moment to moment, the best really definite answer on whether I'm doing it right or not is whether it goes up or down... and when the weight's too light, it pretty much goes up no matter what I do.

Oliver Gould
01-13-2008, 08:09 PM
Yah that makes sense. I am speaking from a slightly spoiled position :)

01-13-2008, 10:24 PM
There are plenty of things to work on, but the direct culprit was simply timing. That turnover has to be stopped abruptly in the slot and the bar driven up. Your turnover just continues past that correct overhead position until it's too far behind you to support it. I'd work some muscle snatches and snatch balances to really nail down that timing and positioning.

Maximilian Mormont
01-17-2008, 07:57 PM
Its plenty high. Push up on it at the bottom of the squat. In your starting position, pull your shoulders back and be a little patient on the break off the ground. I think whats causing the bar to swing is that your butt is coming up too fast. Remember to activate your lats and an aggressive shrug. Keep up the good work.

Charles Garrett
01-19-2008, 05:36 PM
Go back and watch the video again. Go frame by frame. Specifically watch the angle of your back during the first pull. Do you see that? Your hips are rising faster than your shoulders. That's a problem, but the real problem is what is causing it. Your starting position is loose. Use your hip flexors to pull you down into place and keep them tight, tighten you back (upper and lower) and flex your legs. Stay tight through out the entire lift. Don't forget to take the slack out of the bar before you lift the bar.