"Teaching Olympic Lifts" 35 minute video- Iven Abedjiev:
NAIM, The Pocket Hercules:
What are the typical questions of young weightlifters today?
"What's more important, strength or technique?"
"What causes the bar to fall backward?"
What do you do if the weight is too far forward?"
"I use the split snatch, but for some reason I lose balance on my right side. Tell me how to get rid of this fault."
It's possible to be very strong and at the same time have a poor total if technique is not internalized to the point that it is "automatic." Technique and strength - these are the two most significant, important factors (among others) in bettering lifting results.
That's why it's very important to continuously work both to broaden the physical base and to perfect technique during the year-round training process. Sometimes athletes emphasize either technique training or broadening of the physical base. Such methods slow down results and deprive the athlete of faith in his own strength.
Of course, at various stages in training the time spent on technique or on strength will not be adequate, but this is certainly not to say that technique work should supplant strength training or vice versa. Keep in mind that EXCESSIVELY hypertrophied muscles worsen speed, flexibility, etc.
Now a few words about the most typical and frequently occurring mistakes in the snatch. Every athlete (especially beginners) should have a good idea how to execute the movement, and before approaching the bar he must mentally solidify all the details and features of the lift in order to perform it more precisely and master it faster.
Here are a few of the errors most often met in the snatch.
1) Poor final (third) pull.
Causes: poorly developed leg and torso muscles, bending the arms before the final (third) pull (especially when first pulling the bar off the platform), which decreases the power of the final (third) pull because the arms should be straight just before the final (third) pull starts; premature extension of the legs and torso; loss of base of support (before the final (third) pull when the athlete is on tiptoes resulting in the general center of gravity being displaced forward nearer to the toes and prevents the athlete from completely using his leg and torso strength.
Corrections: The following should be included in training more often - squats, snatch pulls (third pull), snatches from the hang and from uprights, doing inclines with bar on the back, standing broad jumps, lifting the bar smoothly off the platform with straight arms at all stages of the pull and not changing the position of the torso until the start of the final (third) pull.
2) The bar is locked out overhead with arms straight but the weight is forward and can't be held.
Causes: the athlete incorrectly places his feet under the bar before taking his starting position and the center of gravity of the bar was outside the area of support or on a line with the toes; poor mobility in the shoulder joints; before completely straightening, the athlete does a "pochard" [diving duck] of the head, leaving the shoulders forward and forgetting about torso movement; too much action of the rear leg (split snatch), leaving the forward leg in place; throwing both legs only to the side (squat snatch) or jumping back.
Corrections: Position the foot under the bar so that the bar is above the base of the big toe. Include the following movements in training: snatches from the hang or from boxes (bar should be above the line of the knees) with light or medium weights, paying particular attention to the speed of dropping into the bottom position, spreading of the legs, and backward-forward movement of the torso. Use exercises for improving mobility in the shoulder joints (hangs and swings on parallel bars, using a towel or stick to stretch the arms behind the head - dislocates).
3) The bar is overhead, but falls behind.
Causes: the athlete is too close to the bar; premature extension of the trunk; elbows move to the rear.
Corrections: Correctly place the feet under the bar before starting the lift; begin to straighten the torso only when the barbell reaches the upper third of the thigh (beginning of the third pull), turn the elbows to the side and upward.
4) The bar is lifted overhead, but arms are bent.
Causes: delayed drop into the sitting position; slow movement of the feet, poor mobility in the ankle and hip joints; too shallow a squat (or too little split).
Corrections: In training, include squats in the "split" position with bar on shoulders with variable weights (for those who use the split); do flexibility exercises to develop ankle, knee, and hip mobility; do snatches with light weights 3-4 times per set, and also snatches from the hang, paying particular attention to speed of spreading the feet and depth of the bottom position.
5) Loss of balance to the right of left.
Causes: displacement of the forward leg to the inside (loss of balance to the right, if the right foot is front foot); displacement of the rear leg to the inside (loss of balance to the left, if the left foot is rear foot.
Corrections: many repetitions of the split with light weights for developing precision in movement of legs in a straight line (for convenience, draw parallel lines on the platform at the width of the feet).
6) The athlete snatches the weight, but touches his knee to the platform (in the split).
Causes: insufficiently deep bottom position; slow and passive movement in the knee joint of the rear leg; heel of the rear leg turns inward, and the support falls on the big toe; delayed drop into the bottom position.
Corrections: make the drop under the bar rapid and with maximum depth and precise placing of the legs; send the straightened rear leg back as far as it will go.
Enjoy Your Lifting!