Snatch Instability - It's Not Your Overhead Strength or Stability

Are you trying everything to improve stability overhead in your snatches and getting absolutely nowhere? It’s probably because the issue isn’t actually your receiving position.
If you’re able to stably overhead squat and snatch balance as much or more than you can snatch, more overhead strength and stability work isn’t going to solve your instability because the problem isn’t the receiving position—it’s how you’re getting to it.
In order to diagnose the actual problem, compare videos of yourself doing an overhead squat or snatch balance to a snatch in which you have the instability you’re trying to correct.
Look at your squat position first—Is your stance the same? Are your feet directly under you? Are your legs and hips bent to the same angles? Are your hips open to the same degree? Are your trunk angle and head position the same? Is the bar in the same position overhead? Are your eyes looking the same direction? Are your arms rotated the same way? Are your hands and wrists in the same position?
When you find the differences, watch your motion into the receiving position to see where things diverge.
Anything that causes a change in position, prevents moving into the correct position quickly enough, or creates horizontal momentum on the bar or body is going to reduce stability.
The most common culprits are:
  • Jumping forward or backward
  • Swinging the bar out
  • Leaning the chest too much into the turnover
  • Trunk too vertical in receiving position
  • Cutting the pull short
  • Slow or incomplete turnover
Once you have an idea of the source of the position differences, figure out the cause.
Some of these underlying problems are related to each other, and you can definitely be doing more than one independently. Remember to always start correcting with the most fundamental and earliest errors because those will often correct the more minor and later problems.
And when snatching generally, think of moving into the perfect overhead squat position and making the bar meet you there.
Now, can you get strong enough to make snatches despite one or more of these errors? Of course. But why not solve the actual problem and get even better instead of just continually adding layers of Band-Aids to a hemorrhaging wound that will eventually kill you?

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