Pillidge has the reigns. I repeat. Pillidge has the reigns. And I do believe you're in for a month of overhead stability work. So strap yourselves in because I've dedicated this post to the 'Snatch'.
Today's post comes courtesy of Juggernaut Strength. An absolutely AWESOME website/blog you need to check out if you are Olympic Lifting inclined. And even if you aren't, it's still got some great material on there. Go do some hunting. You won't be disappointed.
ANYWAY, I digress.
As I'm hardly an authority on olympic lifting, I've outsourced today's blog to some of Team Juggernaut's best coaches and lifters. They share some of their own suggestions for ways to 'fix the weak links in your snatch'. Have a read, think back to your own snatch and maybe give some of their suggestions a go - you never know...they might actually work *wink wink*
"Two issues commonly seen with beginners is letting the bar pull away from them in the middle of the pull and losing tension from mid-pull to turnover. The muscle snatch is a great exercise to help correct both of these issues. When the muscle snatch is performed at the proper weight, it requires the athlete to perform a straight bar path past the hips and continue pulling after contact at the hip. For athletes having this issue, I would use the muscle snatch as a warm-up/technique exercise before performing the snatch."
In summary: Do more muscle snatch practice to improve your third pull technique
Snatch from Deficit:
"Snatching from a deficit is an exercise that is used for athletes that either have trouble using their legs in the initial pull from the ground or trouble finishing the pull at the top. The deficit can be put at different heights anywhere from 1-3 inches, depending on the skill level of the athlete. To get to the proper set-up position from the deficit, the athlete must lower the hips more than usual, which puts them in a position that forces them to push through the ground with their legs. This helps them understand the feeling of pushing with the legs to the hang position as opposed to pulling over the bar too fast. Also, since the bar has to travel further, it teaches the athlete to be patient through the pull and finish at the top."
In summary: Do more snatches from a deficit to improve your leg drive in the first pull and timing for the third pull.
Complex: Muscle Snatch + Power Snatch + Snatch:
"One of the most persistent issues I see with new lifters is failure to properly use the upper body in the pull underneath the bar. Often, explosive lifters with generally good technique will simply let the bar float after the finish, turning the snatch into a throw-and-catch-type movement. Instead, the lifter should strive to constantly interact with the bar.
The goal of this complex is to get the lifter to feel the arms work in the turnover with the muscle snatch, and then carry that over into the power and full snatches. The key is to use a weight that is light enough to allow a smooth, fast turnover in the muscle snatch, but heavy enough that the lifter must use the arms to complete the lift. My lifters often use this complex as a warm-up and will rarely – if ever – go above 60%. 45-55% will be plenty for most athletes."
In summary: Great warm up drill to remind you to remain active as you pull under the bar. If you find yourself catching and sinking, or bending at the elbows when you catch, this is a great drill for you.
"For lifters who have difficulty keeping the bar close and finishing the pull, snatch with no brush is a beneficial exercise. It will also help to improve speed under the bar. The lifter will perform a snatch, but at the hip position, the bar is not to touch the body, emphasizing a vertical bar path, a strong final pull, and speed under the bar."
In summary: If you tend to go out wide with your arms, this is the perfect drill to teach you bar path and get you to turn on your lats.
Snatch from Various Heights Blocks:
"These help to improve speed and force of the final pull as well as speed under the bar. This variation is less taxing on the back and legs and can be used to reduce the load that the athlete may experience when lifting from the floor."
In Summary: If you find yourself too slow in the second pull, practice snatching from elevated blocks.
"When performing a power snatch, the lifter will receive the bar with the hips above 90 degrees of flexion. This differs from a full snatch, in which the bar will be received in a full overhead squat position.
This exercise trains the lifter to extend fully and powerfully at the top of the second pull. This variation also requires the athlete to pull under the bar quickly – training speed of the turnover. The goal is to put maximum height on the barbell with a powerful ankle, knee, and hip extension, then to snap under the bar with an aggressive turnover – negating the need to squat. When this type of aggression and speed is then incorporated into the full snatch, maximum weights tend to improve. It is a confidence builder for the lifter to walk up to the barbell with the intent to perform a full snatch, knowing he or she has power snatched the same weight in the past."
In summary: Great for honing your speed and power in the movement. Should be a warm up to any squat snatch work as well.
Dead Hang Snatch:
"The dead hang snatch starts with the lifter standing tall with knees and hips extended and the bar resting near the crease of the hip. The lifter initiates the movement with a shrug and pulls under the bar into the full overhead squat position, then stands. Be sure not to dip, jump, or use any other compensatory movement to attain momentum on the bar other than a shrug up.
This exercise is designed to train speed when pulling under the bar. Perform with an empty barbell initially to avoid compensation and slowly increase weight over the course of a training cycle. Remember, it is not about the weight on the bar – it is about speed under the bar."
In summary: If you struggle at landing in a power snatch, this is a great drill to increase your power and aggression which will also feed into your squat snatches and make getting under the bar that much easier.
Snatch without Moving Feet:
"This exercise can be done using the hook grip or not; I do not believe that either will have an impact on the effectiveness of the exercise. This is one of my favorite exercises to use with intermediate to advanced weightlifting athletes to work on timing, positioning, and finish of the snatch. The general concept of the exercise is that if you are put in a receiving position with your feet and do not allow yourself to jump under the bar, your positions in the pull, timing of the catch, and finish all must be correct for you to be successful in the lift."
In summary: If you need to work on your footwork and landing, this is the drill for you.
Our tip? Choose one or two of these drills to start incorporating into your Open Gym or warm up time before class. You'll be amazed at the difference in your snatch if you spend just 10 dedicated minutes,
2 -3 times per week on these drills.