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Making Snatches Fun...By Bri Springer

Bri Springer

Snatches are fun!!!

At this Saturday’s OLY class we will be learning the snatch so in an effort to simplify the movement I’m going to use some pictures and videos in this weeks blog post to help you get more comfortable wit the movement. As I have mentioned with good technique the snatch is a safe movement that is extremely helpful in reaching fitness goals. I have noticed a lot of members cringing at the sight of snatches being written on the board for the WOD and my goal as your coach is to get you to the point where you look at the board and say, “yay snatches!!!”

First part of the snatch is the hook-grip.  This is where you grip the bar by covering your thumb with your index and middle finger. The reason for using the hook-grip is that it is the most secure grip and secures the bar in your hand so it does not roll in your hands towards your fingertips. This grip is only used while pulling, not pressing or squatting. Although it feels awkward at first it is essential to movements such as the snatch. 

How wide should my hands be on the bar? When standing with the bar your grip should be wide enough that it is hitting your hips. This will allow you to get full extension so the bar hits your hips as opposed to your thigh. If it hits your thigh it will bounce away from your body. Notice where the bar is as this athlete hits triple extension.

Two movements that are important before moving onto the full snatch: Power snatch and overhead squat. This splits up the full snatch into two movements allowing the athlete to focus on the power snatch and then getting full range of motion on the squat. Should flexibility is important to support a large load overhead. This is CrossFit games athlete Camille Leblanc-Bazinet demonstrating excellent overhead squat form. Notice that her armpits are pointed forward and her elbows are pointed towards the ground. 

Now for the hardest part, the full snatch. Start with your shins touching the bar. The first pull is nothing more than a deadlift. An article in the CrossFit Journal by Bill Starr, world famous Olympic lifting coach, describes the full snatch perfectly, “when the bar passes mid-thigh, drive your hips forward aggressively and with your arms still straight shrug your traps. All the while, the bar must be close to your body… After the bar passes your navel, bend your arms explosively and your biceps and brachioradialis will punch the bar upward, extend onto your toes and elevate the bar even further… From that extended position, you must explode down into a deep squat while simultaneously locking out the bar.” (Starr 5-9) once you have a solid squat stand the bar up! This is a hard concept but let that quote set in and watch the video below. This movement takes time and dedication, but when mastered it is a beautiful and very fun movement! This is a video of Chad Vaughn snatching 285lbs in slow motion. Pay close attention to his incredible form.

 In this video Chad Vaughn breaks down his snatch and thoroughly explains the key components of his lift. Its very impressive to watch and extremely helpful to understand snatch technique.

Hope to see you all at OLY/Strength class on Saturday! It’s going to be fun! :)

Work Cited
Starr, Bill. “Learning How to do Full-Snatches” CrossFit Journal. January 2010.