Learning the Snatch technique is one of the hardest skills to master. It contrasts with the clean and jerk, in that it favours the athleticism attributed to a gymnastic body-type over the ‘gym-bro’, who may be struggling to learn the snatch after years spent believing that parallel squats were the lowest one could possibly go, and the overhead squat was a mere fairytale.
Snatch technique requires all the elements of flexibility, strength, and power, without one of these your snatch will eventually suffer. This article is here to help prevent the frustration that the snatch can inevitably bring.
1. Start Right, End Right
The start position in the snatch is often ignored by many beginners because we only really know we have failed the snatch if it doesn’t make it above your head. If you do not start correctly, the bar path and your power can be severely handicapped. When you set up, check your feet, knees, hips and shoulders.
Firstly, start with your toes under the bar, if the bar starts far away, its stays far away. Pressure should be distributed on the balls of your feet to allow your legs to drive through the floor. Points your feet and knees slightly out, this will help the bar stay close without smashing into your knees.
Keep those hips down! Hips should always be lower than your shoulders, so make sure they are in your start position.
The shoulders must be over the bar to start, this will allow you to produce that powerful hip extension when you move into the extension at the top of the lift.
2. Problem? Reverse the Chain
Working backwards from the snatch is the ideal problem solver. If you have a problem with your catch position, overhead squats and snatch balance are going to be your friends. For 90% of beginners it is the second pull (from the knee into the extension). Dip snatch and hang snatch above knee will be your next port of call.
Finally, if there are issues transitioning from below the knee to above, hang snatch below the knee or pause snatch (pausing at the knee) will help your mind and body connect to the two. Don’t just continue to snatch from the floor, experiment with a warm up drill of Hang snatch, Hang snatch below the knee, snatch from the floor until you feel the floor snatch is perfect.
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