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I have a question on shoulder positioning during the olympic lifts. When the shoulders are over the bar during the 1st pull, are they kept neutral, I mean, no squeezing the shoulder blades togehter, does that pull the scapula back putting the shoulders behind the bar, or does squeezing them set the upper back like squeezing them during the squat exercise.



In my opinion, setting the upper back is just as important as setting the lower back. Right before I lift, I set my lower back, then my upper back, which is done by squeezing my shoulder blades together, taking a big breath, and thinking "big chest". By no means does squeezing the shoulder blades together/setting the upper back cause the shoulders to go behind the bar. The position we are in the moment we lift the bar off the ground (butt down, chest up, shoulders over the bar, lower and upper back set, etc), is the position we must maintain until the bar gets right above our knees, and at that instant the first pull is over and we explode into the second pull.