Articles  >  Olympic Weightlifting Technique
Quit Scraping Your Shins in the Snatch & Clean
Greg Everett
February 8 2018

While we always want to keep the bar as close to the body as possible throughout the pull of the snatch and clean, contact at the shins or knees that causes scraping or any noticeable collision is problematic and indicative of an error in the position or movement. There are a few possible causes:

Shoulders Behind the Bar

If the shoulders are behind the bar rather than above or slightly in front of it, the bar will naturally want to swing back against the legs to center itself under the shoulder joint. This can occur at any point, including in the starting position. The solution, of course, is to correct the lifter’s posture and movement in the pull. Exercises that will help include:

• Snatch/clean deadlift
• Floating snatch/clean deadlift
• Halting snatch/clean deadlift
• Snatch/clean segment deadlift (pause 1 inch off floor, knee, mid-thigh)
• Snatch/clean deadlift + snatch/clean
• Floating snatch/clean deadlift + snatch/clean
• Halting snatch/clean deadlift + snatch/clean
• Slow-pull snatch/clean
• Segment snatch/clean (pause 1 inch off floor and knee)

Cues to help encourage the proper position include:

• Shoulders over the bar
• Stay over it
• Adjust the hips higher (if appropriate)

Pushing Bar Back Excessively

The bar may still scrape the shins and/or hit the knees when the shoulders are positioned correctly relative to it if the athlete is attempting to push the bar too far back in the effort to maintain proximity at a given point of the lift. The lifter simply needs to adjust this effort and practice the movement properly. The same exercises listed above for the previous cause can be used here. Cues will consist simply of reminders for the athlete to avoid pushing the bar back excessively.

Premature Second Pull

This is essentially the same as the first cause above—that is, the shoulders move behind the bar before they should.
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February 15 2018
Or knees not extending vertically at the right time?