One sure fire way to get better at the snatch and clean and jerk is to get comfortable in the bottom position. If you can’t get rock bottom, quickly, you’re limited in the weight you’re going to be able to get under, relative to your pulling strength. Speed is obviously a huge component but that’s a subject for another day. The more time you spend in that position, under load, the better.
Chris Duffin recently said that the only way to make physical changes is under load. That the release and changes made with foam rolling, lacrosse ball, etc. are neurological not physical changes. While the science of it is not my area of expertise, my experience makes me agree. Stretching and rolling are only going to take you so far. Spending more time in the positions that you want to improve, with weight, will make a huge difference.
Sots press and Press in Snatch (BTN Sots) are both great to use as a warm up for snatching and cleaning. If you have the shoulder and T-spine mobility, progressively increasing the weight on these movements will make you more comfortable and stable in the hole. I’ll never feel as ready to snatch as I do after a few sets of press in snatch. Even if your shoulders won’t allow much weight, being down there more often, working through some reps, will absolutely help.
Paused squats are huge.
Getting comfortable and strong in a rock bottom squat is a necessity in weightlifting. If your catch position sucks, you should probably be adding in some pause work. Mobility aside, you don’t always catch a snatch or clean perfectly. If you have to adjust the bar, regain your balance, and then stand up, you’ll be in the hole for a few seconds. Plan for it and train for it.
By all means keep rolling out and stretching. You’ll maintain your current levels, recover better, and be less injury prone. But to make big changes, get down in the hole for a while. Learn to love that ATG.