I saw this image posted from the CrossFit games and it made me think about the new people that I’ve been teaching snatch and clean and jerk.
We teach linear bar path and that the bar should travel in a straight line. I think where this gets confusing for some people is that because we tell them that the bar has to travel in a straight line, they feel the need to move the body in a straight line .
In order to get to that full extension or what is referred to as “triple extension”. Shrugging / Hips / legs feet up on toes, then you really need some extension of the spine. That arch of your back will allow the bar to travel straight up, and having your back in extension isn’t detrimental because at this point it is really non load bearing as the weight is already traveling upwards at a high rate of speed or at least it should be!
If you want a strong pull on your clean and or snatch in your Olympic lifts then you need to arch your back when you finish your pull. If you aren’t, then you aren’t fully extending and you are not optimizing your lift. The bar still travels straight up and down, and it’s important to let new people know that although the bar path is linear, your body position is not.