The Snatch is by far the most technically challenging exercise, especially as you can only keep increasing the load so no matter how technically good you become at one weight, things can change pretty fast when adding even 5kgs. There are common technical problems I see daily. This happens all the time in Olympic weightlifting but not due to a lack of experience or coaching but rather that these errors are just a part of the sport – where a keen eye and emphasis on each movement is always needed. Use these top tips for a better snatch and significantly improve your form.
Don’t Pull the Bar Around the Knees
To keep the line of the bar as close to you as possible, one needs to stand a bit further away from the bar when approaching it from the ground. When setting up and gripping the bar push the knees forward /over the bar so that the bar remains close to the body but without the need to move the bar around the knees.
To get this right you will pull the knees back as the bar starts to come up. Keeping the bar close by pulling back is the ideal.
Roll the Wrist When Pulling the Bar
When completing the extension (second pull), it is very important to roll the wrist inwards towards the body as to direct the bar to be as close to you as possible. This allows for the bar to keep the line close so that as you drop under to block, the bar has not detoured from its line.
A lot of snatches that either don’t make it in or are lost behind are usually due to the swinging of the bar in the second pull. So to correct that, one should role the wrists hard on the second pull. A close bar is a good bar.
Don’t Look Down
A common problem is when most people catch the bar overhead, they are looking down instead of keeping their gaze on the horizon. As in most reactions by looking down it creates a better ability to balance.
However, in weightlifting it really doesn’t assist in the execution of the lift as it pushes the bar further behind you and allows for the chest to collapse thus the bar either pops forward or forces the elbows to unlock. For this I teach my guys to find a fixed mark in the room that they keep their eyes on the whole time.
Now this doesn’t mean stand wider and stay there. It means keep a stronger narrow stance BUT when you jump under the bar, throw your feet wider in the block. This is to create more space for yourself to get under the bar more comfortably while the knees stay out and chest is up. This will help you keep a stronger position under the bar and develop a strong overhead squat.
Go by Feel not Sight
I am about to get a little bit like “Yoda” on this. When many people begin to snatch they wait visually to see the bar pass them over head before they commit to dropping under the bar. This is obviously progress in the right direction when learning to snatch but not how you want to keep snatching.
Now going back to my Yoda moment, when snatching it is all about trusting yourself and committing, that as soon as that bar makes contact on the upper thigh /hip region – you start dropping under as the pull continues over your head. It takes a few hearty attempts but have faith in yourself and you will find that you do have the ability to snatch.
- Your knees should be over the bar on the ground
- Roll the wrist on the second pull
- Keep your eyes on a fixed marker in the gym (don’t look down)
- Jump wider on receiving the bar
- Trust yourself and commit
Are there any other top tips for a better Snatch that you know off?