Movement Tip: The Snatch

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The Snatch, demonstrated here by CrossFit Seminar Staff member Julie Foucher, is the first of the two lifts contested in the sport of weightlifting. The athlete lifts the barbell from the floor to overhead in a single action. It is also used by athletes in other sports to develop power, speed, precision and mobility.

In CrossFit, the Snatch is usually learnt later than the clean as, while the initial pulls from the ground follow the same pattern (with a wider grip), there is a big difference in the catch. With the clean, we catch the barbell on the shoulders in a Front Squat, while with the Snatch we catch the barbell overhead in an Overhead Squat. We talked previously about how important it is to develop good ankle, thoracic and shoulder mobility for the Overhead Squat, and this is just as, if not more, important for the Snatch, because here we are dropping into the Overhad Squat position at speed.

So don’t be in a hurry to master the Snatch – taking time to work on the components and mobility will not only protect you from injury, but will improve your performance in the longer term.

Points Of Performance

  • Hip-width stance
  • Hands wide enough that the bar rests in crease of hips when legs and hips are extended
  • Hook grip on the bar
  • Shoulders slightly in front of the bar at set-up
  • Lumbar curve maintained
  • Hips and shoulders rise at the same rate
  • Then hips extend rapidly
  • Heels down until hips and legs extend
  • Shoulders shrug, followed by a pull under with the arms
  • Bar is received at the bottom of an overhead squat
  • Squat complete at full hip, knee and arm extension with the bar over the middle of both feet
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Movement Tip: The Hang Snatch

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