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Clarifications regarding snatch form

mvikred

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
[originally posted in Instructors only forum but thought this might be useful even for wider audience so posted it here]

Hi All

I wanted to have a view from the instructors on this form regarding something i observed in my snatch form. I’ll try my best to explain using the two pictures from one of my recent training session (Pics attached below).
I have observed that my right shoulder pulls back a bit more than my left. I have been very consciously trying to avoid that. I interpreted that I have been pulling the bell rather than letting the hips get the bell above. Despite me consciously not trying to use my upper body I see some (refer to the two pics). My left side seems fine but I see more of this on my right side. I am right handed (FYI).

This raises two questions in my head
1. What is acceptable as far as this issue goes? If the hips are squared but the shoulders twist a bit, is it acceptable?
2. What is this a symptom of - more upper body pull than needed, weaker obliques therefore body rotating, or something else?

@Brett Jones @Derek Toshner - would love to get your views as well. I’ve tried to see if something on this is covered in the Speed Metal course but I did not find anything specific related to this.

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Please find the link to the video here and I request some to also watch the same to give an informed opinion. The snatch starts at the 3 min mark.

 
@mvikred, I don't find the still photos enlightening. In the video, I see that you keep the bell closer to you on your right side than on your left, and I think that if you focus on the bell path and not how your shoulder is moving, you'll do better on your left. We should mention that, on both sides, your snatch looks strong and like you could fairly easily snatch a heavier weight. The power looks like it comes from your hips on both sides - that also needn't be a concern.

-S-
 
this is more for the clean than the snatch but i think it carries over. I like to pretend im drawing my gun from its holster (and then firing it over my head, lol). Pulling the bell back towards your hip before directing it’s path up could help on that shoulder shrug. If steve says its good though I'm not gonna argue.
 
@mvikred, I don't find the still photos enlightening. In the video, I see that you keep the bell closer to you on your right side than on your left, and I think that if you focus on the bell path and not how your shoulder is moving, you'll do better on your left. We should mention that, on both sides, your snatch looks strong and like you could fairly easily snatch a heavier weight. The power looks like it comes from your hips on both sides - that also needn't be a concern.

-S-
Thanks Steve. I wasn't sure if the pics were doing justice, so added the video link. Thanks for your experienced opinion. Yes I can snatch upto 40 sets of 5 reps OTM with a 28kg (and can snatch 36kg for 3-5 reps but most of my snatching is with 24-32kg only) but this video is me using a 20kg to ensure correct form. I've been following Tim Almond's Hardstyle method progression and when I spotted this 'perceived' issue I took a step back (in terms of weight) to correct myself. From what you've said, the shoulder movement is an issue as long as the hips are generating the power.
 
this is more for the clean than the snatch but i think it carries over. I like to pretend im drawing my gun from its holster (and then firing it over my head, lol). Pulling the bell back towards your hip before directing it’s path up could help on that shoulder shrug. If steve says its good though I'm not gonna argue.
:) Makes sense Larry. I've mostly used two ways to build my snatch.

Method 1: Do a sequence of Deadlift, One arm row, and then combine both. And repeat. This more or less mimics what you are refering to !
Method 2: The t-rex swings or low-pull or bottoms up clean method to get the bell up. And as you increase power the bell naturally flips over before you get to your overhead position.

Both methods, imo, ensure that the hips deliver the power and minimize the upper body pull.

I've gone over multiple videos of folks who have a very good snatch form on the instas and youtube and they do have minimal shoulder movement, at least to my eye. Tim Almond, Sven R, Jack L, Derek T - all these guys have a snatch form that I aim to mimic, knowing very well that my body can result in a slightly different form. All their snatches look good to the eye and i'm sure its a result of 1000's of reps drilled in the right manner. This post is my quest to improve my own form.

I've built my snatch up using HecG's Snatch blueprint. This resulted in a massive shift to how I snatch. After that I've continuously looked to improve the form by incorporating principles from HardstyleMethod by Tim Almond and Speed Metal. Anyways, enough of my rant and I do hope other experienced folks weigh in as well.
 
If you watch through to the sets beginning at 4:30, I think you will see that the shoulders have settled in.

My first thought was going to be that you were overpowering the bell—and at the 20kg I think that makes sense.

Being crisp at a lighter weight can present challenges initially but as you dial in the right "volume" setting things settle in.
 
your snatches do look pretty good. And, at this point I wouldn't be as worried about what the weighted shoulder is doing as much as whether the sternums direction is affected by the weight.

As long as the orientation of your sternum pointing straight forward is not being effected by the Bell, I think you are doing just fine.

Don't worry as much about protraction and retraction of the shoulder/scapula. Worry a little more about whether the rib cage is being twisted about the axis.
 
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If you watch through to the sets beginning at 4:30, I think you will see that the shoulders have settled in.
I was thinking why this was the case and I now remember that I was trying to avoid this movement by keep the shoulder pressed down, lat more engaged.
 
This raises two questions in my head
1. What is acceptable as far as this issue goes? If the hips are squared but the shoulders twist a bit, is it acceptable?
2. What is this a symptom of - more upper body pull than needed, weaker obliques therefore body rotating, or something else?

What is the conclusion/executive summary to above important questions?
 
Thank you for posting this in the uncertified section - its a really useful discussion for us mere mortals

We all are, buddy ! The only reason I initially posted there was to get a response from the practitioning instructors. Nothing else :) but I’m glad you find this useful.
 
Hey @mvikred sorry for the delay in my response! I need to remember to keep the forum on the front of my mind!

I see a couple of things, and have a few thoughts. 1) recommending some bottoms up cleans as a warm-up. Maybe 5 sets of 3 reps each arm with a 2-second hold at the top of each rep. I think this will keep that right shoulder packed a bit more. 2) Left shoulder looks a bit more inflexible. Do you know your scores on shoulder mobility with FMS? You may find some mobility drills make that left side feel more comfortable. 3) This is very subtle, but it looks like you hike pass the bell harder on the left, and you drop it more on the right. When a strong hike is present, the shoulder will stay lower. When you do more of a drop-snatch, there will be a tendency to want to shrug more (which seems evident on the right). Suggestion is try to hike the bell further back on the right side rather than dropping it down between the legs.

Hope that helps!
 
Hey @mvikred sorry for the delay in my response! I need to remember to keep the forum on the front of my mind!

I see a couple of things, and have a few thoughts. 1) recommending some bottoms up cleans as a warm-up. Maybe 5 sets of 3 reps each arm with a 2-second hold at the top of each rep. I think this will keep that right shoulder packed a bit more. 2) Left shoulder looks a bit more inflexible. Do you know your scores on shoulder mobility with FMS? You may find some mobility drills make that left side feel more comfortable. 3) This is very subtle, but it looks like you hike pass the bell harder on the left, and you drop it more on the right. When a strong hike is present, the shoulder will stay lower. When you do more of a drop-snatch, there will be a tendency to want to shrug more (which seems evident on the right). Suggestion is try to hike the bell further back on the right side rather than dropping it down between the legs.

Hope that helps!
Thanks for taking the time ! Can't say much about how my shoulders would score on FMS as I haven't gone through the screen. Maybe something I should ! But I have incorporated the suggestion you have regarding BU clean but as a clean and press .. let me try your suggestion of a clean and a hold. I would assume this using a lighter weight than the snatch bell. I am aware of the hike pass you are referring to and I were to take a guess it is because of my right shoulder. Thanks for all the suggestions once again. Cheers !
 
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