View Full Version : Coaching for Snatch

James Libby
01-24-2008, 10:00 PM
I have been Crossfitting for approximately 9 months. I started last summer in Iraq (East Baghdad) with little to no resources other than a few other dedicated Crossfitters like myself. I am fully aware of the fact that I totally suck on my Oly lifts. All comments/critiques that will make me better are welcome. Thanks,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9zoHIc1W9MWFS???????????????????????????? ? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9zoHIc1W9M)
another miss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyHbPjv3l5AWFS???????????????????????????? ???????? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyHbPjv3l5A)
again... thanks,


Brandon Oto
01-25-2008, 06:18 AM
Are you power snatching intentionally, or are you unable to perform the full squat?

James Libby
01-25-2008, 09:36 AM
I can perform a full squat; I think I'm having trouble getting under the bar.

Brandon Oto
01-25-2008, 12:17 PM
Ahem ahem... oh, Arden...

James Libby
01-25-2008, 12:23 PM
:confused: You lost me...

Blair Robert Lowe
01-26-2008, 01:37 AM
James. Arden is a big woodsman sporting guy who comes from a background of power and Oly Lifting. He's like the Paul Bunyan on the CrossFit boards.

Blair Robert Lowe
01-26-2008, 01:48 AM
They are coming along James. Just really work on getting under that bar fast. I suggest working snatch balance. There are 2 videos under CrossFit exercises if you are not familiar with them.

Brandon Oto
01-26-2008, 02:13 AM
Arden's been doing a bunch of work on getting under the bar. He should be able to share some of his ideas on what's worked.

Arden Cogar Jr.
01-26-2008, 08:46 AM
Sorry guys, just found this one.

I'm a complete newbie with olympic lifting, but I'm learning. I'm very OCD so I read a ton of stuff on everything I'm doing. I did the same thing with my goofy hobby when I got serious about 15 years ago (actually, it's the same, just on a much smaller details now).

The first thing that caught my attention was your set up. You're not maintaining a good lumbar arch throughout the movement. You're rounding your back to perform the second pull.

I'm writing this, basicly to help myself, but as I understand it there are three pulls. First pull is from the ground to the knees. The second pull is from the knees to full extension with your arms completely straight getting as tall as you can get. The third pull is pulling yourself under the bar.

I think we need to break your lift down into these three areas.

The first pull: I think you could get your back a little more arched and your lats and triceps a bit tighter. Everyone here has told me to try and crush something between your lat and tricep before the bar comes off the ground.

Then imagine your hips and shoulders rising at the same time during this first pull. I noticed when I slowed down your videos that your hips are rising slightly faster. You really need to drive your feet through the floor in order to make this happen. Stay tight in your back (arch and lats), head forward - slightly up. And squeeze the bar into your shins - think of keeping your shoulders in front of the bar (which you are doing pretty good from what I can recall). Try and look a little upward, not much, just a little. Get your chin as far away from your butt as you can.

Second pull: I think you're trying to bow your back to get some extra whip or speed on the bar. I should know I've been doing the same darn thing for about four months - but to a lesser degree now than when I started.

You want to maintain that same rigidity of your torso, back, lats, and triceps - with your arms straight for as long as you can during the second pull.

A good phrase to remember is "the power ends when the elbows bend." So by bending your arms you are, in essence, slowing the acceleration of the bar. Seems counter intuitive, but that's exactly what happens.

Instead of losing your arch on your lower back, bring your knees forward and scoop under the bar while keeping your shoulders in front of the bar. Keep the lats and tris tight. Remember to try and keep your elbows over top of the bar. That's something I figured out to keep my elbows straight and my shoulders in front of the bar. By keeping your elbows over the bar, and using your lats and tris to push the bar toward your body, you will keep your shoulders in front of the bar.

Then stand as tall as you can - fully extend at the hip, shoulders finally move behind the bar, you go up onto your toes, then you shrug as high as you can.

Here's the part where the literature I've read gets a bit iffy. My inclination, and I hope Greg Everett corrects me if I'm wrong - is to think wide elbows. Keep the bar close to your body as you're pulling yourself under the bar. You actually have to throw your head somewhat back in order to keep form bashing yourself in the chin (figured that one out the hard way :D).

I'm still learning "the how" thing about the receiving position and the landing. So I'm going to stop there because I really don't feel comfortable going further until I feel comfortable doing it myself.

I have had a lot of trouble getting under the bar myself. The drills I work on to try and force myself under are:

Snatch Balance can be found here wfs


Snatch Land can be found here wfs

heaving snatch balances are good too.. found here wfs


probably the best thing you could do is do hang snatches off blocks so you're pulling off the block really working on that full extension of the second pull and the full third pull with the land. Here's a link that's wfs:


Hope that helps?

All the best,

James Libby
01-26-2008, 09:29 AM
I appreciate all of the advice tremendously...

I will start drilling the assistance exercises today as an active rest and then work them in either before or after the WOD (depending upon the pain level :D i.e. Nasty Girls). I have all of the CF journals so I will pull all of the Oly lifts training drills and just start working them by the numbers. I have been being stubborn, thinking that I can get it with just practicing the lifts, and that is clearly not the case.

This board is a wonderful tool, constructive criticism from outside sources is invaluable. I could have looked at them videos 100 times and still have not found all of the potential snatch sabotaging movements that I am doing.

All, thanks for the help.