The Olympic snatch is one of the best exercises for a Crossfitter to learn and master. It involves strength, power, speed, agility, balance, and coordination in order to get the bar smoothly and efficiently overhead. In the Olympic games, the snatch is one of two weightlifting movements that are performed, the other being the clean and jerk. The fact that Olympic weightlifters spend 10-20 years developing technique in just two primary exercises speaks to the complexity of these movements. Olympic weightlifters are among the fastest (over 30m), highest jumping, most flexible, and are the strongest athletes in the Olympic games.
The biomechanics of the snatch make it a good carryover exercise to any movement involving fast hip extension (going from a bent hip position to a straightened hip position), such as jumping and running. The video below demonstrates a few characteristics of the snatch and shows the athletic potential of this movement.
As you can see, the bar travels from the ground to overhead in one smooth motion. Catching the bar in a squat position and then standing up is called a squat snatch. Catching the bar overhead with minimal knee bend is called a power snatch. Although the movement is called “the snatch” it is quite evident that the athletes performing the exercise do not “snatch” the bar off the ground. The lift begins with a smooth first pull from the
floor to mid thigh, generating speed but not rushing. The second pull is from mid thigh and involves an aggressive extension or “pop” of the hips to drive the bar upwards – notice that the arms are still straight (see video below). The third pull is a flip of the arms overhead while pulling the body down under the bar into a squat (squat snatch) or partial knee bend (power snatch).
The three main areas where novice lifters go wrong are getting the bar too far away from the body in the midrange of the movement (i.e. swinging the bar), pulling with the arms too early, and rushing the lift off the ground. The drills over this week will develop good habits in the snatch movement that are designed to correct these faults. In the short term, this may result in less weight lifted as your body adjusts to the new
mechanics. In the long run however, nailing down these fine details will enable you to lift more weight more efficiently and safely, as well as give you better gains in strength, power, and stability.
Enjoy the snatch week!
Buy In- Snatch Pull technique – from the ground to the power shrug (PVC to light bar/weighted bars for advanced) – 15 min
WOD – “Any Given Sunday”
- Row 300m
- Run 500m
- 30 burpees
- 10 lengths side shuffle
- 5 lengths broad jumps
- 30 DB Squat cleans (40/25)
- Run 500m
Zone 3: Scale db weight to 25/15
Zone 2: 20 burpees, 20 squat cleans (15/10)
Zone 1: Adjust run as needed, 15 burpees, 15 squat cleans (10lb DB’s)
Cash Out – Handstand practice – 5 holds for maximum time