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Snatch Errors – Premature Pull

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This is the second post in this series.  To see the first post, go to:

Article from CrossFit Journal post – Ditching the Donkey Kick By Bob Takano

The Premature Arm Pull

This is a fairly common phenomenon among guys who want to “gorilla” the weight, although some girls do it too. I think this error really comes from an excessive focus on what the arms are doing while forgetting the legs, hips and perhaps the entire rest of the body.

One thing that is infrequently taught—but is applicable here—is to forcibly contract the triceps during the early and middle phases of the pull. I advocate this and teach it through extensions (pulls without bending the arms). In this way, most of the work is done with the legs and hips, while the function of the arms is merely to remain tight and straight. Furthermore I emphasize not bending the arms until the hips have fully extended and the traps contracted.


The Premature Trap Contraction

I think that this is related to the previous problem, with many of the same motor neurons working synergistically.  It is, after all, difficult for many athletes to bend the arms in a pull without shrugging the shoulders.

My coaching cue for this problem is one I picked up from Jean Holloway. She always emphasized a “long neck.” If the athlete thinks about keeping the neck long until the hips have fully extended, the premature shrugging can be practiced away. This cue, combined with the aforementioned extensions, can go a long way toward remedying premature involvement of the traps and arms.

Today’s Workout:

Buy In – Handstand technique
* then 5 sets of max hold free standing
Zone 3 – free standing with a spot
Zone 2 – against the wall
Zone 1 – on a box

WOD – “Clean Run In”

5 rounds for time of:
400m run
5 power cleans (135/185)

Top time: 11:56 by Jer!  No Ladies have done RX yet, come on ladies!

Time Cap: 20 minutes

Zone 5 – scale cleans to 115/165
Zone 4 – scale cleans to 95/135
Zone 3 – scale cleans to 75/115
Zone 2 – scale cleans as needed
Zone 1 – scale wod as needed

*Choose a challenging weight that you can preserve your technique*

Cash Out – MWOD (1 minute per side of each exercise)

Pigeon pose
Couch stretch
Psoas stretch



11 thoughts to “Snatch Errors – Premature Pull”

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