Weightlifting Wednesday! Yes we are continuing this and yes it will get even more cliché as the week goes on (tomorrow especially!) Similar to Mobility Monday and Technique Tuesday, Weightlifting Wednesday will be geared all around the Olympic Lifts. Whether it be thoughts, movements, technique, video reviews, even tips and drill to not only better perform these complex movements but also in a safer manner. So without further delay……. Weightlifting Wednesday!
For most people, the biggest turn off in the realm of CrossFit is the complex barbell movements. The horror stories that surround the snatch and the clean and jerk fill the air as soon as you mention CrossFit. This fear surrounds the snatch in particular.
At Beartooth CrossFit we implement the snatch and clean and jerk in our Elements class where we as coaches take time to go over proper positioning (positioning surpasses movement in the hierarchy of learning the Olympic lifts). In doing so, teaching the snatch and clean and jerk are most easily taught from the top down. Once the athlete has shown mobility, and proficiency in the positions, we begin to work on efficiency.
One of the biggest faults I see in our lifters especially beginners is the ability to pull themselves under the bar. Instead, they pull the bar “up” from the hip to overhead. This is easily done in METCONs or with lighter weight because your arms/upper body are strong enough to still handle the load. But if you recently watched the Olympics or anyone at your gym moving big weight, they do something a little different. They are actively PULLING THEMSELVES UNDER THE BAR!
Now before you go and work on your snatch and pulling yourself under the bar I want you to remember not to shorten your second pull! Please make sure you finish your second pull and end fully extended which will ultimately give you a little more time to pull yourself underneath the bar.
One of the drills that we have implemented at Beartooth CrossFit is the Tall Snatch
Like other exercises, the tall snatch will allow you to help improve your third pull’s speed and accuracy. Unfortunately, this drill has very little use for strength development but if used as a technique drill, it will have a tremendous benefit for your third pull or the portion of the lift in which you actively pull yourself under the bar.
One of the biggest faults I see in coaches with the third pull is misunderstanding the final part as “dropping under the bar or catching the bar.” The third pull must be just as aggressive as the second pull as a lack of “connection” with the bar can easily result in missed lift or injuries to the shoulders or wrist.
In order to execute this correctly, begin standing tall with the bar in your snatch grip, shoulders, neutral, with internal rotation to make sure elbows are turned out to the sides (running alongside the bar). Driving up on your toes shrugging to your ears. After finishing your second pull, the feet transition from the pulling position to the receiving position while pulling the elbows high, keeping elbows to the side (this allows the bar to stay close to the body.) Once the elbows reach shoulder height or around, rotate the bar overhead all while actively driving yourself under the bar. You will receive the bar in the bottom of your overhead squat.
Below you will find a video from Spencer Arnold, owner of Power and Grace Performance. Please watch this video and if you find yourself having a slow transition, jumping forward in your snatch, and missing in front please work this into your warm-up sets!
If you would like further instruction in your olympic lifts please join us at Beartooth CrossFit as we would love to help you correct and improve on your snatch and clean and jerk