Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting

Hips Shooting Up In The Snatch & Clean

We want to maintain a fairly constant back angle through the first pull, although we’ll nearly always see a slight change. The goal is to prevent an excessive and unwanted shift in position.

The hips shooting up dramatically more than the shoulders and bar rise creates a two big potential problems: It tends to shift balance too far forward, and it tends to force an early second pull, which reduces bar speed and elevation and also disrupts balance.

There are 2 basic reasons for this to happen, not including an improper starting position or a lifter intentionally moving this way.

First is a rush to break the bar off the floor. Yanking the bar will nearly always cause the hips to shoot up before the shoulders.

Bar separation does not by any means need to be slow—you just have to control your position regardless of your speed. Ensure tension throughout the body before the start, and imagine pushing your legs through the floor to drive your chest up away from it, just as you would in a squat.

The second main cause is weakness of the legs relative to the hips. The knees are at a very small angle in the starting position that’s difficult for the quads to open.

The body will always shift into the strongest position for a given task—in this case, the knees will open without actually moving the load commensurately and shift more of the initial lifting to the hips.

The idea of pushing with the legs like a squat will still be helpful, but in this case, you need to improve position-specific strength to see real improvement.

First ensure all pulls and deadlifts are performed with the correct positions—reduce weights if needed or you’re simply going to continue reinforcing the incorrect positions.

Use pauses in pulls and deadlifts, particularly immediately after bar separation and at the knee, ensuring correct posture is maintained. You can also add slow eccentrics as long as you maintain the correct position all the way to the floor. Use pulls from a riser to improve starting strength at even smaller knee angles, and use pause back squats to further develop strength from a small knee angle.

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