If there is one topic that is hot amongst newer coaches it is bar path. Many will say that it is completely vertical, however if we pull out a trusted slowmo app we will see that is not true. There is a large amount of well documented Russian and Bulgarian research (back from the 1980s) that shows the optimal bar path to resemble a flat S. This what we call the S curve. Today we will be focusing on when the bar meets the hips. A common problem here is that sometimes that hips become a slingshot. Basically, the bar is projected forward, because the hips only move forward. This causes the lifter to have to jump forward and expend a ton of energy to get their shoulders underneath the bar. The more ideal version of the finish is where the lifter both pushes the hips forward while extending upwards in a “scooping” fashion. This will still push the bar slightly forward, but to an acceptable amount where they can drop under the bar without having the actually jump forward. If this has become an ingrained issue within you, you may need more help than just the cue of “hips forward and up”. Performing tall snatches or tall cleans with a focus on keeping the bar close and pulling back will help to solve this issue. Even using these in your barbell warmup can prime the correct positioning.
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