2nd Biggest Mistake in Weightlifting

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2nd Biggest Mistake in Weightlifting

I think that this series could go on for a long while. There are a lot of mistakes to be made, but I will try and stick to the most common ones. Like I said before, I have made all the mistakes, so that pretty much makes me an expert. Today we are addressing the first two inches of the pull.

We are talking about the snatch or the clean pull in this discussion. The first two inches of the pull could very well be the most important. Remember the first pull’s job is to set up the lifter for a massive second pull. If you mess up the first pull, the second and third are rendered helpless.

The big mistake that I see people making in that initial two inches is getting pulled forwards. Remember the bar path from the floor needs to be straight or preferable back a little. If you sway forwards during the first two inches, you are now in a position that is almost impossible to recover from with a 90+% load.

The mistake is pretty simple to spot just watch the hips of the lifter. If the lifter’s hips raise a considerable amount during the initial pull, the bar is probably shifting forwards as in the weight distribution in the feet. This is not where you want it.

What causes this to happen? There could be a couple of reasons from my observations. Let’s look at them more closely:

1. Back isn’t tight- I am always confused as to why a lifter rushes to the point of starting the lift with a soft back. I am not sure what the thought process is here, but I can promise that this is wrong. The goal of the torso is to be as tight and rigid as possible, so that no force is lost in the system. The goal is to allow the hips to generate the force while maintaining that strength throughout the body.

The easiest way to tighten the back is by tucking the scapula together and down. The rhomboids do the work of bringing the scapula together, but the bigger lats anchor them down. I recommend pulling against the bar while setting the scapula for extra tightness.

2. Out of control dynamic start- this is probably the number one cause of being pulled forwards. Most of the time it’s simply someone that doesn’t have a simple pattern figured out. They will wiggle and twerk a million times before beginning the lift with no real pattern. I recommend a simple pattern because simple is easier to stick to.

I have taken the dynamic start out of the routine of some of my lifters with great success. If your dynamic start works 50% of the time, then get rid of it. Consistency is way more important than a dynamic start. Remember the first pull isn’t near as important as a powerful second pull. Simplify it!

If you are getting pulled forwards right away, I recommend pausing two inches off the floor with you snatches and cleans. I would hold the pauses anywhere from 1-10 seconds. Remember that isometric contraction will strengthen that position making it easier for the body to maintain with maximum weights. You could even do some pulls against pins in a power rack for assistance work to further strengthen that position.

Ways to fix:

• Pauses 2 inches off the floor with the snatch and clean
• Pulls against the pins in a power rack
• Pauses in both could be anywhere from 1-10 seconds

I hope this helps. I really want to see athletes improving that initial pull. The lifter can easily control those first two inches, so that mistake is on the lifter for sure. It is a lack of focus and proper practice, so get this one fixed. The goal is to get to the point of the amount of weight causing the miss and not a technique flaw. This is an easy one to fix now go do the work.

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