Do You Need To Fix Bent Arms In The Snatch Or Clean?

Why and how the arms are bent in the pull of a snatch or clean is primarily what determines whether or not it’s a problem needing to be fixed.
We have to distinguish having bent arms while lifting from bending the arms to lift.
We can pull with slightly bent arms and still be entirely reliant on the legs and hips to accelerate and elevate the bar, and be balanced and in otherwise optimal positions.
Or we can be actually trying to elevate the bar with the arms directly by rowing it up. In this case, it’s a massive fundamental error that needs to be corrected.
If the arms bend slightly during the pull but the rest of the lift is good, it’s generally nothing to worry about. You can work on correction peripherally over time if you’re so inclined.
If instead the arms continue bending more as the body extends and other errors are present—most likely balance being too far forward, the bar being too far away from the body and the body never extending completely—the lifter is actually trying to lift the bar with the arms, which is preventing an effective lift.
Fixing the problem completely usually requires diagnosing the cause and using specific corrections, but for a general approach, use the following progression. Keep your grip as loose as possible to allow the arms to relax more. Using straps can help.
Start with pulls from power position. Relax the arms and feel the weight of the bar stretching them long. Drive vertically with the legs and feel the bar being pulled up by the elevating body.
Next move to power or full snatches or cleans from power position. Begin the same way and try to feel the arms being stretched long by the weight as you lift your body up. Once you’ve extended, engage the arms to bring the bar into the overhead or rack position.
Finally, move the starting position progressively lower down the legs, keeping the initial motion slow to ensure relaxed arms, balance over the whole foot, and the bar as close to the legs as  possible all the way up.

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