A Stronger Finish
by Bill Starr
All segments of the pull are important, but it’s the final snap at the finish that usually makes the difference between a success and a failure on the full snatch, full clean, power snatch, and power clean...The bar must leap upward at the conclusion of the pull on those two lifts. When it doesn’t, there isn’t sufficient time to rack the bar on your frontal deltoids in the clean or lock it out overhead with arms straight in the snatch.
Any chance we can get an instructional video on how to perform clean pulls?
Not from Bill, and I don't teach them.
While I certainly feel that there is a great deal to be learned from this article, I still do not understand why the emphasis of the traps as a prime mover of the bar at the end of the second pull gets so much attention. I've always felt the hip displacement(violently thrusting the hip forward to finish the second pull) always held more benefit than the shrug. I use a shrug as a que to pull myself/my lifters under the bar, not to be used to move the bar.
Emphasis of the shrug always, in my experience, makes the lifter pull their shoulders back and away from the bar as well as pulling the bar into the thigh. Even after watching Rippetoes video, you can see that his hips seemingly see very little use while his shoulders/traps hardly even flex when the bar starts to get heavy(315ish). If I focus so much attention to use my ass on squats/deadlifts, why would I change that on a clean/snatch when the movement of the hip is essentially the same only executed quicker? Its not the traps, its the hips. They hold a greater potential.
Putting the lifters mind into the violent extention(second pull) then flexion(get under the bar) always seemed to have a greater benefit.
Any clarity on why this would be incorrect?
Makes sense, as they are not included in SS.
Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe
Why don't you find them beneficial?
Without a doubt my weakest part in the power snatch and power clean, still working on that strong finish.
Nice knowing that it's a common problem among lifters and that I'm not alone on this one.
Many thanks for this great article, it's going to help me a lot for sure.
I agree with most of this. But I think that strong traps don't hurt your pulls, and that it helps to have handled heavy weights at the top, and that the barbell shrug is a good exercise for advanced powerlifters for this reason. Since your Olympic lifters probably don't deadlift heavy (do they?), it might be useful to let them feel some heavy weight in this manner. I use a shrug cue to help with finishing the pull, and it has worked well for us for many years despite the fact that it is not fashionable now. I also think that if you're pulling off the floor wrong, all the trap work in the world won't help much.
Originally Posted by Glen
But it's Bill's article, and he doesn't answer questions on this board. Take from it what is useful.
For the reasons Bill cites: the tendency is always to drop down to the bar rather than to pull it high. I have never seen them done correctly, with the pull performed exactly as a clean is pulled. I prefer to use the power clean, power snatch, and both clean and snatch grip deadlifts for Olympic lifters.
Originally Posted by MAD9692
Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 11-18-2010 at 10:37 PM.