How Deep Do You Go?

In this blog we will be discussing the benefits of full Cleaning and full Snatching oppose to powers. We will be looking at how deep into the squat or receiving position you really do go. So with that in mind, do you power your lifts? Would you like to go deeper into the squat? If you answered yes to just one of those questions then be sure to read on (if not there’s still some cool pictures below!).

First things first, definitions. A power Snatch or power Clean is defined when your thighs don't go below parallel with the floor when catching the bar in the receiving position.

Why are full lifts important oppose to power Snatching and power Cleaning?

It’s all to do with how high you have to get the bar. It’s a simple concept, if you don’t have to get the bar as high, you can lift with more efficiency and tackle heavier weights.

Let’s say you power Snatch and your personal best is 100kg. You can pull the 100kg to a height of 1.4 meters (top of the second pull). Now, as you power Snatch, a good 10cm of that height is needed for the lack of a deep receiving position.

You may well be able to Snatch pull 110kg to a height of 1.3 meters. With a full Snatch, you’d be able to successfully lift the 110kg because the difference between the height of your 100kg Snatch pull and 110kg is 10cm… the same as the distance you’d make up full squatting.

This is in an ideal world and you and I both know it doesn’t quite work out that easily but the principle still remains, and you should definitely see results within several weeks of mobility work.

What can you do to improve your flexibility and achieve a full lift?

Stretch. Plain and simple. Easier said than done. And OUCH, right?

It’s one of those things that will take weeks, maybe months in fact, depending on your current flexibility, but will be worth at least a few kilos (probably more) in the long run.

Here are a few quick pointers on flexibility below but before we dive in, we’d recommend you ask your coach for stretches.

  • You should aim for a 4/10 on the pain scale (1 being virtually nothing, and 10 being absolutely unbearable pain) and hold stretches for between 15-30 seconds.
  • You should be working on your stretches at least 3 times a week or ideally after every session if you train more frequently than that.
  • Some key muscle groups that need stretching to achieve a deep squat include: Hip Flexors, lower back, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.

*Please note we are not saying that you should never power Snatch or power Clean, there is definitely a place for them in programmes but we’re merely highlighting the advantages of full lifting.