A snatch is an exercise where the bar is pulled from the floor to a locked-arms position in one continuous move. The bar does not stop on the way up, and there is no pressing out at the finish.
The full snatch is one of the most complicated movements in any sport. An athlete has to pull a weight upward with force and speed, then completely reverse their mental keys to explode downward under the still-moving bar. Their foot placement, body positioning and lockout have to be precise when he hits the bottom or the bar will crash to the floor.
Learning how to do a snatch benefits not only strength but many other athletic attributes, such as flexibility, coordination, foot speed, balance, timing, determination and mental acuity.
Watch the video above, a snatch in slow motion we are sure you will agree is a beautiful thing to watch and a move to aspire towards.
Importantly before heading to your local gym and trying to do a snatch, we suggest you get in touch with us and come along to our foundations classes so we can progress you through the move and only get you to attempt a snatch when you are physically and mentally ready for it.
Lesson 1 – Flexibility and Grip
The first step in preparation for snatches is making sure your shoulders are flexible enough to lock the bar out overhead correctly. Flexibility will also be needed for overhead squats, so flexibility is critical for performing a snatch. You may already have shoulder flexibility, especially if you are young. Females, generally, have no problem with tight shoulders either. However, those who are older or have been enamored with the bench press generally find they lack the range of motion needed in their shoulders to properly lock out a snatch.
These issues can be rectified unless there is a reason for the tightness, such as an old shoulder or elbow injury. Simply take a stick or towel, hold it overhead with your arms locked and rotate it back and forth until you feel your shoulders loosen a bit. Then bring your grip a bit closer and do it some more. Keep working on this until your coach thinks your shoulders are flexible enough for the next step.
Lesson 2 – The Grip
Just how wide should your grip be? Well, it varies and we will cover that when we post lesson 2.
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