Want to set a new PR on your Snatch and Clean? Start here...

November 17, 2016

Want one technical fix that could help you snatch and clean more weight?

Fix your movement off the floor!

Let me explain…

The past few months I’ve been providing free one-minute reviews on Instagram. All a follower needs to do is tag their lift with #projectliftreview and that enters them into getting a free review.

At the moment of writing this there are 864 videos under that tag.

The most repeating issue I see is athletes having trouble off the floor to the above the knee position. I’ve broken these positions down in detail in the video below. 

The Start Position

**If you’re having trouble getting into a good start position then mobility is often the culprit! Check out our free Mobility for Weightlifting Schedule  to help this process!**

No one ever seems to want to talk about the start position. Maybe it isn’t as sexy as the off the hip, explosive, fast, change of direction portion of the Olympic lifts… But it is vital.

When we come off the floor in a good position then we set everything else up to be better positions through the lift. Not happy how the bar came off your hip? The issue could be happening at the start position. Not the hip!

 A few key points:

  1. Is your feet width allowing you to sit to the bar comfortably and move to above the knee well?

  2. Is the weight in your foot allowing you to drive with your legs correctly (hint: the weight shouldn’t start in your heels)

  3. Is your hip in a good position or is it too high or low?

 In the above video I highlight these key points so you can see them talked out visual.

The Above the Knee Position

 Now if we come off the floor in a good position we set ourselves up to be in a good position at the “Above the Knee” position. This position is where we have the LEAST mechanical advantage over the weight… so if we’re weak in this position it will show.

 A few key points:

  1. Are we over the bar or are we trying to sit back?

  2. Do we have close to a vertical shin?

  3. Are our lats engaged keeping the bar close?
Again, in the above video I highlight these key points so you can see them talked out visually.


Getting from the Floor to Above the Knee

 Two key things here:

  1. Are we in a good starting position for ourselves?

  2. Do we allow the legs to do the work off the floor
How we move from our good start position is vital. You can be in the worlds best start position, but if you come off the floor with your butt shooting up it won’t do you any good! 

Let the legs drive and hold the hip and shoulder together. Again, if you’re weak moving through these positions it will show very quickly.

Again, in the above video I highlight these key points so you can see them talked out visually.

Final Thoughts

I’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of athletes. Throughout my travels very rarely does an athlete ever self-describe their issue being with the movement off the floor.

We all focus on the hip. The drive. The explosion. The cool part!

Remember, we first have to get to the hip, and if we can get to the hip in a good position then all the rest is much easier!


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 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.

Set a New CrossFit PR #crossfit