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The Snatch

The snatch takes a load from the ground and places it overhead in one movement.

The snatch and clean and jerk are the two lifts in the olympic sport called weightlifting. Both consists of lifting a load from the ground to overhead, but the snatch does it in one smooth motion (the C&J stops temporarily at the shoulders). This functional movement demands tremendous amounts of accuracy, balance, coordination, and flexibility simply not found in the traditional power lifts (squat, deadlift, and bench press). Therefore, practicing and improving this single lift will result in higher levels of fitness. The Set-Up Checklist As a foundation, here are five pointers you should walk through every time you set up for a barbell snatch:

  1. Hip-width stance.

  2. Hands wide enough that bar rests in crease of hips when knees and hips are extended.

  3. Hook grip on the bar.

  4. Shoulders slightly in front of the bar.

  5. Flat back.

The Execution Checklist Now, prop up your cell-phone and record yourself performing five snatches. Use something light, like a PVC pipe or broomstick around the house or a light barbell inside the gym. Then, rewatch the recording and slow down the video. Ensure these six things occur:

  1. Your lower back maintains its shape. Many times, you will see a “butt wink” when setting up or receiving the barbell in a squat.

  2. Your hips and shoulders should rise together during the deadlift portion.

  3. Your hips extend forcefully as you jump.

  4. Your heels stay down on the ground until you are standing upright.

  5. Your shoulders shrug at the same time your heels come off the ground.

  6. The load is received in an overhead squat position.

Practicing At Home For most athletes, the snatch is the hardest movement to master. Because of this, here are six pictures to help you practice a step-by-step progression at home.

Step 1: Snatch-Grip Deadlift

Step 2: Snatch-Grip Deadlift + Shrug

Step 3: Muscle Snatch (no re-bend of the knees or hips)

Step 4: Overhead Squat

Step 5: Hang Snatch

Step 6: Snatch

Practice, practice, practice. It’ll all start to come together. Tyler WOD 3 Sets For Quality: Perform 5 reps of each step progression above. Then do all six steps again with a heavier load. Then do it one more time with an even heavier load. Total of 90-reps. *Images used from here.

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