Snatch Pains- Bang or Brush?

August 19, 2016 1 Comment

It is completely normal to get a bruised hip when learning the snatch. It is not normal for you to always have a bruised hip.

So how do we stop the pain and keep it from coming back while making gains in the snatch!?

In this video I break it all down and give an exercise to help fix what usually is causing this bruise.

Is it a Bang or Brush Off the Hip?

How we describe the hip contact can play a big part in how we’re thinking about the snatch. My personal opinion and how I teach it - I use the word “brush.”

I have found over the years that when an athlete thinks “bang” they aggressively drive the hips forward into the bar. This creates horizontal movement. Not what we want to do.

When I use the word “brush” it still highlights that there is contact between the body and our bar. However, if we’re moving correctly, it is not something that we intentionally have to think about or force.

The Bruise in Detail

Bruising the hip is one of the most frustrating and painful moments while learning the snatch. Here are just a few generalized causes.

1. The bar is far away from us at the hip

  • We need to keep the bar close to us as we drive from the floor. This doesn’t mean the bar should be dragging up our legs, but if we let the bar get a few inches away at the hip when we aggressively drive our legs… bang!
2. We’re pulling the bar in and making a collision

  • If we’re pulling the bar toward us with active muscle at the same time we’re driving our hip up to the bar... Bang! Steel wins over flesh and bone every time.
3. Driving forward instead of up
    • Again, I mentioned what athletes often do when they think there should be a “bang” off the hip. That is, to aggressively drive the hip forward into it… the bar will win.
    4. Bad timing
      • This is a case-by-case basis and needs specific treatment individualized for the athlete. Often, issues earlier in the movement can cause bad timing. Mobility can be to blame too!

      All the time I have athletes reach out about mobility and that is why I created the Mobility for Weightlifting Schedule for Weightlifting. It’s free and is guiding people down this path to overcoming restrictions that are keeping them from reaching key positions.

      The Cure

      Ok… you’re not going to like this… If you’ve developed a bruise and it is causing you to avoid the hip by changing your movement…


      I said it… you have to move on to the next exercise.

      Don’t change your grip or your movement to continue trying to train. You’ll only be training movement that you won’t want to keep.

      Once you’re healed up you can work drills to improve your timing off the hip. I highlight one of my favorites in the video above!


      This is a guest post from Drew Dillon, head coach and co-founder of Project Lift during his lifting career as an athlete Drew placed as high as 4th at a USA Weightlifting Nationals and is now a personal coach to 2012 Olympian Holley Mangold. He is also know as a weber grill snob and will routinely ask you "what is for dinner" during training. You can follow Drew on Instagram and YouTube.

      1 Response

      Angie Lamkin
      Angie Lamkin

      January 28, 2017

      Love it! I’ll try this. Thank you!

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