Developing Speed in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk
The Snatch and Clean & Jerk are two of the most popular Olympic lifts. They have been used for many years at all levels of competition. There are several factors which influence the performance of these movements:
Speed – How fast can you execute them?
Power – How much force do they produce when performed correctly? (Force = mass x acceleration)
Strength – What kind of strength does it take to perform these exercises properly?
Balance – How well balanced are you? Are your feet positioned correctly? Do you have proper posture?
Efficiency – Is it possible to complete the lift with only one or two muscle groups working at maximum capacity while using minimal energy?
In addition to these three factors, there are other things that can affect the performance of the snatch and clean & jerk. These include:
Coaching methods – How effective is the coach’s coaching technique? Does he/she emphasize speed over power? Will he/she emphasize strength over balance? Is it necessary to use different grips for each rep or just one grip during training sessions?
Grip – How effective is the grip? Is the lifter’s thumb wrapped around the bar, or is it placed over the protruding section of the knurling?
Shoes – Are the shoes flat with no added heel?
Ideally, this would be best for explosive lifts off the ground; however, in some instances, a raised shoe with a half-inch rubber wedge can also be used.
Physical abilities – What physical abilities does the lifter have? Can he/she jump high?
Long jumps can improve jumping ability.
Does the lifter run every day to build stamina? Does the lifter have any previous athletic experience that he/she can apply to this training?
Stance – Is the lifter’s stance wide or narrow? A wide stance can be useful in generating greater power and stability at the start of the movement.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Developing speed strength: In-season training program for the collegiate thrower (LW Judge – Strength and Conditioning Journal, 2007 – search.proquest.com)
- The weightlifting pull in power development (D Hydock – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2001 – elitetrack.com)
- Selecting the appropriate exercises and loads for speed-strength development (D Baker – Strength Cond. Coach, 1995 – danbakerstrength.com)
- Weightlifting movements from full extension: The snatch and clean (M DiSanto, G Valentine, N Boutagy – Strength & Conditioning …, 2015 – journals.lww.com)