Common Faults in the Clean/Snatch


A. Deadlift


B. 7 Minute AMRAP:

7 Box Jumps (30/24)

3 Deadlifts (275/155)

7 Toes to Bar

Common Faults in the Clean and Snatch

6. Improper Set-Up

The general rule in the set-up is a hip-width stance. Too many times rookie lifters start their stances too wide. I can't remember ever a cuing a member to "bring the feet wider". The toes are going to be slightly ducked out and knees pushed out over the toes. When the stance too wide, the hips cannot function to full drive potential, and the knees will cave in which causes lost power translated from the ground.

5. Hips rising too fast on the deadlift

When the snatch or clean deadlift occurs the knees are pushed back and the legs are the primary movers of the load. If the hips rise to fast (the stripper move) it will create a loopy bar path and will likely result in the bar being swung forward.


4. Arms bending or “pulling” too early

Olympic Lifting coach and former Notre Dame football player Coach Mike Burgener proclaims “When the arms bend, the power ends!”. What Coach B means is that when the arms bend at the elbow before or during the jump phase of the lift, the explosiveness of the hip is almost completely negated. A kink in the chain occurs, the connection between hip and hands is lost, and the power output is dramatically decreased. Keeping the arms straight throughout the jump will ensure that all power is translated into the bar.

3. Bar not connecting with the hips

This mistake usually occurs because of a faulty set-up or deadlift. If the knees to do not push back and get out of the way, the bar path will likely stay 4-6 inches away from the hips. If the knees do trace back, the bar will come inward, brush the thighs and make slight contact with the hips. Keeping the bar close to the body


2. Elbows not coming through the bar/Grip too tight

This is one of the biggest faults with the clean. Keep in mind the explosion of the hips or “jump” is the driving force that propels the bar upward. Trying to yank the bar up with arms not only takes the jump out of the game, it will also slow down the elbows. When pulling with the arms, the grip remains tight and creates tension in the forearms, which then translates into slow elbows coming through the bar. What should happen is once the jump is finished, the hands release grip pressure on the bar as it floats upward. This allows the elbows to freely drive through the bar, resulting in a better rack position for the front squat.



1. Not committing to dropping under the bar

This is the ultimate mental issue with the clean and more so with the snatch. If there is no willingness to drop under the bar, all of the previous mentioned faults really do not matter. Coach Mike Burgener says in order to drop under the bar you have to have a "junkyard dog" attitude. In other words, you have to tell yourself you are a bad ass! Commit to pulling yourself under the bar and watch as the lift gets easier and easier.