Some athletes consistently jump forward or “chase the bar” during the receiving position of the snatch.

One of the common reasons is that the bar path during the entire movement is too far away from the body.  If this occurs, the brain sends a signal to keep the athlete from falling over, resulting in an early pull of the barbell (athlete pulls barbell/weight closer to the body for balance).  The pull then slams the bar into the hips, causing a horizontal trajectory of the barbell instead of a vertical drive.  As a result, the athletes not only loses potential power in the movement, but has to jump forward in order to receive the barbell overhead.

So how do we fix it?

In some cases, it’s as simple as looking at the athletes starting position of the snatch,  as well as the body weight distribution during the pull of the snatch. Although the optimal starting position will be specific to the lifters’ proportions and preference, here is a standard starting position:

  • ·       Feet hip width apart
  • ·       Barbell over the balls of the feet (where the toes connect to the floor)
  • ·       Barbell should be touching the shin or as close as possible.
  • ·       Hips should be slightly higher than knee level.
  • ·       Shoulders slightly in front of or directly over the barbell.
  • ·       Chest up and normal curvature of the spine should be maintained throughout the movement.
  • ·       Body weight should be at the top of the heel (not the back), and entire foot should remain flat on the floor.

So, if you tend to chase the bar, start by fixing your starting position and see what happens...

If you have any questions or specific issues related to your lifts that you'd like to ask, email me at

By: Coach Arlene