When I first started lifting I thought there was one thing you had to do in all movements. Just get from the start to the finish.
Then, I learned about some trouble spots that kept popping up. When specifically talking about the snatch it was always all about triple extension. Every cue I heard was around that. Time went by and there was a whole lot more that was being taught.
Now, over 2 decade lifting I have 5 areas in the snatch that I believe are super important to understand in order to really improve.
I am going to go over all 5 of these and give you a little nugget to help in each one.
Let’s jump right in to them!
1) The start, this is before you do anything. You’re starring at the bar thinking, this is easy I got this, or you’re questioning yourself while your friend shouts you got this. Either way it is time to lift…
My tip here is create a routine. Have a way to approach the bar every single time. Create a habit that allows you to start thinking less. This removes all those excess movements.
2) Moving the bar that first foot. This is where I believe most people mess up yet rarely get coached here. I mean, depending on how the bar moves off the ground determines where it goes, and not only that it determines the amount of power and tension you can generate.
My tip here is be patient. Don’t rush the bar off the ground, take you time and feel the weight. I mean when it is heavy it doesn’t move fast anyway, right!
3) Transitioning around the knee and getting the bar to the hip. This is a funny one, I see people skip this so much because it can start actually looking worse the more you get coached.
Have you ever had someone helping you and then, stop and say never mind just do what you were doing, it actually looks worse now…haha It is hard to Make this happen fast.
My tip here is to pause when you get to this position, find the right position, and slowly move to the hip, this is great to practice with a PVC of empty bar. In fact all if this is best practiced that way.
4) The Transition: Many people never actually get here because so much has gone wrong on the way up that they create there own move. They thrust the bar off the hip, or pause at the thigh, then thrust it forward. You know what I am talking about, right!
My tip here is to focus on driving the bar up off the body not out. If you know me at all you have heard me say don’t hump the bar! What that means is don’t push you bar away from the body.
The goal is to keep the bar as close to the body as possible. So push the bar up towards your shoulders.
5) You have probably heard it like this, GET UNDER THE BAR!
What I say is down not up. You have to begin moving down at this point. Many of the problems I see is people continuing to pull up on the bar and never giving them the time to get under it.
My tip here is let the weight on the bar tell you how low you need to get down, so the heavier the bar the lower you need to go. I know we always try to pull the bar as hard as possible in order to get it as high as possible, but trust me…eventually you can yank on it as hard as you want and it is not going any higher.
Learning how to pull under the bar is the last and step that brings all of the previous work together.
And remember if you start bad you won’t magically end well.