The Skill of Barbell Cycling

Snatch Variations

With The Open starting in a couple of months, it might be a good time to start dialing in your “light to moderate” weight barbell cycling technique.

Here are some of the most common snatch cycling techniques that should be regularly practiced.

1. Touch & Go Muscle Snatch

Fastest cycle rate since there is no hip contact or knee re-bend. This technique places a high demand on upper body, specifically shoulders and biceps.

2. Touch & Go Power Snatch

Correct use of hips & knee re-bend to get under the bar. Slower than the muscle snatch. Might be the only option if the weight is heavy.

3. Touch & Go Muscle Snatch Pull Under (Definitely just made this name up :))

This is one of our favorite versions that is in between the muscle snatch & the power snatch. Starts of just like a muscle snatch, but dropping under the bar the last second to save your shoulders from getting fatigued by not having to pull all the way to the top.

Squat Clean Variations

1. Touch & Go Squat Clean

When cycling light to moderate load during a metcon/competition, it is not mandatory to come to a full triple extension (unless the standard calls for it) on each rep like it’s shown in the first part of the Instagram post below.

2. Touch & Go Squat Clean With Short Pull

Although not technically correct (by weightlifting standard) our athlete in Clip 2 still adheres to all the current CF competition standards by simply “reverse curling” the bar into the front rack position thus increasing the cycling speed.

Clean & Jerk Variations

1. Touch & Go Clean & Jerk

The most efficient (yet slowest) method. Thigh contact on the way up and down, jerking the bar overhead.

2. Touch & Go Clean & Push Press

If the weight is light enough, it’s possible to simply push press the weight (instead of jerking it) overhead. The benefit, is faster cycling. Downside is shoulder fatigue. Most competition standard is shoulder to overhead, irrelevant of how the bar gets overhead.

3. Touch & Go Muscle Clean (sort of) & Push Press

The fastest, yet the most physically exhausting method of cycling clean & jerks. Notice how our athlete, received the barbell with knees bent (despite of it being a muscle clean) in order to push press the bar right away into the overhead position. No thigh contact on the way down or up.