Snatch can be one of the most complex and frustrating movements and yet so rewarding when you nail it. It highlights everything a great lifter needs – mobility, stability, strength, power, speed and co-ordination. Often it is one of these that’s missing which holds us back from hitting that PR or reaching our true capability (guilty myself of pulling too early). So here’s some ways we can look at improving in one or more of those categories.
Athletes who need mobility; this one is for you. If you feel stiff or stuck in a certain position, you may often catch it in the power position and wonder how much more you could actually put on the bar. This could be because of a stiff upper back. Those that are at desk jobs, sitting for extended periods of time, or have poor posture tend to encourage curvature of the spine. Key exercises and drills that will assist in your mobility include posterior shoulder smash, bicep smash with barbell, and thoracic mobility on a foam roller. Next minute you’ll feel flexible enough to hit that squat snatch, no sticky points here.
Athletes who are looking for more stability will often have no trouble getting the bar up, but locking out or holding onto it in the receiving position does not come naturally. This is often seen in hyper – mobile athletes #guilty, less yoga and more Turkish getups, as well as kettlebell overhead walks, are going to work on that shoulder stability and lock out position overhead. If this sounds like you, grab a kettlebell and get those shoulders still and stable.
If you think that your strength is what lets you down, let’s be honest we weren’t all born with a phenomenal base of strength, all I can say is squat – front squat, back squat, overhead squat, just basically squat. Continue to add weight to the bar with good form and you will see your snatch increase. This, with core accessory work such as plank and hollow holds, is going to help get you the best snatch on the block.
The last thing that people often lack is confidence in the overhead position or getting under the bar. No one wants a metal bar dropping on their head. Best way to kill this fear is do exactly that. No, not drop it on your head, but get under the bar. Hold the overhead squat position by using pause overhead squats. Instead of coming down and straight up spend 5-10 seconds at the bottom. Get past that sticky, uncomfortable “I want to put the bar down” voice in your head and hold a little longer. You will thank yourself when you PB your next attempt.
Whether you fall into one or multiple of the above categories, it’s a slow process but with a little bit of effort and extra technique work, you will see the transformation happen. Remember it’s just you against you. Happy snatching!