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Elliott Harding 03-30-2014 12:29 PM

Shoulder placement (Deadlift, Clean, Snatch)
I have been wondering about this for some time.

At the moment just prior to pulling a deadlift, clean or snatch from the floor, your shoulders can be in a variety of positons.

On one extreme, the shoulders can be rolled forward of the body, as if they were slouching. At the other extreme, your shoulders can be pinched together as if you were standing at attention.

Where should they be prior to the pulls?


If the above doesnt make sense, I can try to rearticulate.

Dare Vodusek 01-02-2015 12:38 PM

Re: Shoulder placement (Deadlift, Clean, Snatch)
Actually I was about to ask the same question and I am somehow disappointed nobody answered.

In this video; [url][/url] (WFS) its explained that shoulders should be in "up and locked" position. I believe the same applies for clean?

For a deadlift, The Ant says, its better to leave the hands "hanging", consider them just as a wire coming off your body and connecting to the bar.

But, there is still a question for power clean and power snatch and shoulder placement. As these two lifts require the bar to be raised much higher than the regular clean/snatch I do wonder if it would be better if shoulder are in an "unlocked" position and they also assist in the third pull of the movement?

What do you guys think?

SP 01-03-2015 04:10 AM

Re: Shoulder placement (Deadlift, Clean, Snatch)
The shoulder blades shouldn't be retracted. The shoulders should be forward and slightly ahead of the bar, the lats should be locked and tight, the chest should be up, the back should be flat and the elbows pointed out down the length of the bar.

Dare Vodusek 01-03-2015 08:47 AM

Re: Shoulder placement (Deadlift, Clean, Snatch)
Thanks Straun.

One question, thou, how to lock the lats without retracting the shoulder blades?

Philipp Lendner 01-03-2015 09:59 AM

Re: Shoulder placement (Deadlift, Clean, Snatch)
Your question is pretty much about the difference between the setups for a Deadlift and for a Clean. Yes, there is a difference.
For a Deadlift, you can allow your shoulders to be a little bit forward (passive shoulders; this will shorten the distance you have to pull the weight a little bit. (Cue: down and forward) Be careful however not to round your back.

For the Clean, it is a little different. The Snatch and the Clean are really all about the second pull, where all force is produced. You do not want to waste any energy here. The passive shoulder setup described above however will force your shoulders to round significantly if used in a Clean, because there is no way you could resist the forces produced in the triple extension. I may let Ilya demonstrate that [URL=""]here[/URL] (wfs, though that is a horrible weight). If you watch his shoulders, he moves them into position just before starting the lift; after that there is no movement at all until he starts to pull under the bar. Compare this to a powerlifter setup like [URL=""]this[/URL] (wfs, again horrible weight).

To get a feeling for the difference, try this: stand upright with your arms on your sides. Now, think back and down (Oly setup); recognise where your hands touch your legs. After that, think down and forward (DL setup): This will make your hands move down your thigh by several centimetres. Be aware that that difference is also going to allow you to sit a bit higher in your setup (That is the problem Jason has in the video you posted, because he is forced to sit down).

BTW I love comparing two of the best lifters of their sports. :D

SP 01-04-2015 03:48 PM

Re: Shoulder placement (Deadlift, Clean, Snatch)
[quote=Dare Vodusek;1247014]Thanks Straun.

One question, thou, how to lock the lats without retracting the shoulder blades?[/quote]

Spread the lats like a body building pose and tense them. Also think about pulling the bar into your leg. That gets the lat activated.

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