How to Become a Snatch Master
Written by Cody Burgener
How much do you snatch? How much do you power snatch? If you don’t know the difference between the two, I’m guessing you can power snatch more than you snatch. A snatch to a lot of CrossFitters is a squat snatch. A power snatch is any snatch that you receive above parallel. A lot of people in the CrossFit community can power snatch more than they snatch. Some of the reasons for this are that athletes are scared/hesitate on receiving weight overhead in a full squat, they are slow underneath the bar, or they press the weight up overhead. In this blog post, you will learn ways to increase your speed under the bar and start feeling comfortable with weight overhead in a squat.
First things first, NEVER power snatch on the platform again. If you want to become a better snatcher, you need to start snatching. If you practice power snatches, it’s likely that your body will get used to the movement pattern and slow your progress in performing a proper snatch. So when you’re practicing your lifting on the platforms, pull yourself under the barbell and receive the barbell in a full squat. Save your power snatches for light weight, timed workouts, but NEVER do power snatches on the platform again.
How do you become faster under the bar?
Heavy high hang snatches are a great developer of speed under the barbell. Everyone has a weight limit on how much they can lift with their arms. Once you reach that weight limit, you are going to have to learn how to pull your body down under the bar, or you are just going to be stuck doing the same weight for the rest of your life.
When performing these high hang snatches, you have to make sure that you hit your finish/2nd pull/jump viciously, so you create speed on the bar (making the bar become weightless). During that weightlessness you are aggressively pulling yourself under the bar. You must create that weightlessness because I’m pretty sure no one can just drop under 200+ pounds. Performing snatches from mid thigh/launch position will also help with your speed under the bar, and athletes will be able to use more weight because of their engagement of the hamstrings.
Another great couple drills to help speed up your body are the snatch balance and snatch drops (snatch balance drops are what I like to call them because the name snatch drops is already used in the Burgener warm-up). These exercises give you the feel of driving your body down under the bar aggressively. If you don’t use any speed or explosiveness in these exercises, the bar is going to beat you down.
One of the hardest things to do in weightlifting is to teach people how fast you need to be when performing the snatch, clean, and jerk. These exercises can help feel what speed is all about, but you also have to be confident in yourself. If you ever second guess yourself before a lift, you have already missed it. Now go out there and start moving quickly, lifting some heavy weights and believing in your abilities.