Hip Contact In The Snatch - How To Keep The Bar Close

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During the pull of the snatch, the bar will contact the body in any properly executed lift. The most important point to keep in mind is that any horizontal force we impart to the bar is not only limiting its upward speed, but is reducing the effectiveness of our mechanics pulling under it and disturbing our balance.

There will always be a small degree of horizontal force with this contact, but it has to be minimized. This requires three basic things:

First, the bar must be as close to the body as possible prior to contact without dragging. The closer it is before contact, the closer it will naturally stay, just like a ball bouncing (thanks to Ursula Garza-Papandrea for that analogy).

Second, the bar should contact at the crease of the hips as the trunk reaches an approximately vertical orientation. Contact earlier and on the thighs will have more of a tendency to both push the bar forward and slow its motion. This requires staying over the bar long enough before initiating the second pull.

Third, the legs must be actively driving against the floor vertically as the bar comes into contact and continue this drive after contact. This ensures the hips are moving up vertically as they finish extending rather than driving forward through the bar.

The upper body can and should actively keep the bar close to the body when entering the third pull after contact, but this can’t entirely make up for improper extension—it’s a preservation of existing proximity, not a fix for excessive distance.

The simplest way to learn and practice this bar-body interaction is with snatch pulls. Focus on staying over the bar until it’s around mid-thigh, keeping the bar as close as possible prior to contact at the hip, and driving aggressively and vertically with the legs until the bar has stopped moving up. You can then train a complex of snatch pull + snatch, trying to recreate the motion in the snatch.

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