Looser Grip For Tighter Lockouts
A common mistake overhead in the snatch and jerk is to grip the bar too tightly.
A tight grip can improve force production in slow strength movements like the bench press, but that’s not what we’re doing—we need maximal speed into complete elbow lockout.
Excessive grip tension can both slow elbow extension and limit it—this leaves you just short of the ideal structure offered by complete extension and late to apply the force you need, meaning pressouts and instability.
Excessive grip tension can also prevent the hand and wrist from settling into the ideal position overhead, meaning further instability and often wrist pain.
You can feel the difference by punching the air—punch as quickly as possible first with your hand completely relaxed, then again clenching your fist as tightly as possible. It may seem like a subtle difference, but add big weights over your head, and subtly gets pretty dramatic.
Grip the bar overhead only as tightly as needed to maintain control and the correct hand and wrist position.