Bar Contact In The Snatch & Clean | Brush Or Bang?

How and when the bar contacts the body in the snatch and clean is an ongoing source of confusion for new lifters, so we’re going to sort you out right now.
First, does the bar have to contact the body? Only if you want to lift well.
The bar wants hang directly below the shoulders. If you stand vertically with a bar at arms’ length, your shoulders will be behind the bar, meaning the bar unavoidably contacts your body.
A properly finished pull will bring the shoulders at least slightly behind the hips, meaning the only way to snatch or clean without the bar touching your body at the top of a pull is to do something terribly wrong.
This leads us to when this contact should occur, and that’s when the shoulders move behind the bar. As your trunk reaches approximately vertical, the bar will contact the body as it tries to remain below the shoulders, and you continue your effort to keep the bar as close to yourself as possible.
In the snatch, the bar should contact in the crease of the hips; in the clean, it will contact somewhat lower depending on proportions and grip width, but ideally as high on the thigh as possible.
Finally, how should it contact? The goal is full contact with as little disruption of the bar’s upward acceleration as possible.
This means that the bar needs to continue moving up through the contact rather than colliding with a single point, which will make it bounce forward and slow down.
Now the obvious question is how you make all this happen.
First, be sure your grip width is appropriate—too narrow of a grip will cause the bar to contact too early and low.
Keep the bar as close to the legs as possible all the way through ­the pull without dragging. This means proper posture and balance, and using the lats to actively keep the bar close.
Stay over the bar long enough—getting behind the bar too early will mean it hitting or dragging on the knees or lower thighs.
And finally, continue pushing vertically into the floor with the legs as long as you’re extending the hips. This keeps the hips moving up as they extend rather than pushing forward through the bar.

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