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Weightlifting Wednesday: Please Stop Deadlifting Your Snatch


Weightlifting Wednesday: Please Stop Deadlifting Your Snatch

This week on Weightlifting Wednesday, I discuss the importance of the posterior chain in regards to ummmm I don’t know…………. EVERYTHING!!!

Many of you know that I have the privilege of working with arguably one of the greatest Olympic Coaches I have come across. Spencer Arnold, needs no introduction but if you wish to view his accolades please feel free.  Something that has been beat repeatedly into my brain and something I am currently working on with my athletes is Hamstring Tension. 

Anyone who has attended one of our classes or was lucky enough to attend the Power and Grace Olympic Lifting Seminar this year, the topic of proper loading of the hamstring seems to take precedence over all other faults.  Again, One of the biggest faults I see within Beartooth CrossFit and with my online athletes is the lack of tension in the hamstrings.  Whether a proper first pull was not taught correctly or the inability to get there due to mobility is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, they are not there!  Adversely some begin to deadlift their first pull…… This opens up to a new kind of issue, one which I would like to discuss today.

Deadlift vs. Snatch

Lets get this crystal clear….. the deadlift is not how you Snatch Pull!

To tie in all the teachings of Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell, in a deadlift, the bar needs to move straight up. In order to do that the weight needs to start on your heels but no further forward than the ankle. From here arching through the back, squeezing the gluten and moving the hips horizontally all tie into making this lift. This can be seen a little easier on this video in which Louie is teaching the Chair Deadlift.

At 1:05 Louie goes over the Conventional Chair Deadlift. 

The key here is to take a look at the set-up, bar path, back angle and how the hips come into contact with the bar.

Now lets take a look at the Snatch (the same could be said for the clean)….

As I mentioned before a lot of my athletes do not understand the the first pull or pulling the bar off the ground.  Not having a background in Olympic lifting, I had to, repeatedly I might add, work on this for what I thought was years (in hind sight, it actually was). So to understand the first pull we first must kiss hands and shake babies (Pat Paulsen quote for you) with the contept that as the bar leaves the ground it is PARAMOUNT that it tracks backwards. As Spencer would say, “It must sweep back!” Sweeping the bar back will load the hamstrings and posterior chain which will allow for maximal bar speed AT THE RIGHT TIME! If it is not a correct pull maximal speed might still be reached but at the wrong time.

Here is a good video of a correct first pull



To further touch on the issue, I have included a video of Coach Burgener, who shows the importance of this bar path along with the need for speed under the bar.  You might be aware of this topic if you read Weightlifting Wednesday Post 1 and Post 2.  Coach Burgener hits on the point that in experienced lifters tend to think “shrug up” and as a result slow down their third pull. It was ingrained into me that once the bar leaves the hips it begins to slow down…. That means the bar reaches maximal velocity AT THE HIPS! So two things, why would I try and continue to pull upwards if the bar is in fact slowing down and secondly, by not pulling correctly from the beginning moves the contact point further down the leg. This means the point of in which the bar starts slowing down is not as high if I had correctly pulled to my hip. Which, in return leaves me with a shorter distance to get under it and more than likely a missed lift!

Watch this video and listen to what coach has to say about the first pull and pulling under!


1:18 mark is when Coach Burgener goes over loading the hamstring.


As always, the Olympic Lifts should be taught from the top down.. This will save you a lot of headache in the future!! As always, If you have any questions regarding Olympic lifts please feel free to contact us at or you can always swing by, I would love to help!

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