Why: The snatch (like the clean and jerk) develops “speed strength” (the ability to absorb and transmit forces rapidly), the skill that enables Olympic weightlifters to outsprint most sprinters and outjump most high-jumpers. As you develop the snatch (and, in turn, speed strength), you become a more potent, formidable athlete. The snatch is particularly useful for athletes who compete in explosive sports.
Set-Up: Start with your feet at a hip-width stance. Place your hands on the barbell in a wide grip—the grip should be wide enough that the bar rests in the crease of your hips when your legs and hips are extended. Use a hook grip on the bar. Set your shoulders slightly in front of the bar. Maintain your lumbar curve.
Execution: Your hips and shoulders rise at the same rate as you pull the bar off the ground. Rapidly extend your hips. Keep your heels down until your hips and legs extend. Shrug your shoulders and then pull yourself under the bar. Receive the bar at the bottom of an overhead squat. To complete the movement, finish with full hip, knee, and arm extension with the bar over the middle of your feet. (If a power snatch is required, receive the bar in a partial squat. If a hang snatch is required, start with the bar above the knee but below the hip. If a hang power snatch is required, start with the bar above the knee and receive the bar in a partial squat.)
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– The bar starts on the ground (if a hang snatch is required, the bar starts above the knee)
– The hip crease drops below the knee crease in the receiving position (if a power snatch is required, the hip crease must be above the knee crease in the receiving position)
– You finish the movement with full hip, knee, and arm extension with the bar over the middle of your feet
Pro-Tip: In the set-up, think “chin down, eyes up.” The “chin down” cue helps you keep a neutral spine position. The “eyes up” cue helps with bar path: the bar will go where the eyes are looking; and since we want the bar to go up, look up.