I had a friend in a private Facebook group ask my advice on learning how to snatch. Like so many people, she was stuck with analysis paralysis.
Every tutorial I’ve ever seen makes snatching seem sooooooo hard. And at some level, it is. For people who are trying to have technically proficient and maximally mechanically advantageous movement patterns, it is hard. An olympian and U.S. record holder recently posted some technique work she was doing to perfect her clean. If she’s still technically refining her lifts, you know the average Joe can spend a lifetime learning.
But when you’re just starting out, is all of that necessary? I would argue no. And not just no, but hell no. First, you have to learn the basic mechanism of getting the bar from the floor to overhead. Otherwise you’ll just get lost in the detail and you’ll quit. And quitting means fewer people in the sport which is bad.
So this is a video for rank beginners. In particular, rank adult beginners. The assumption is that you’ve already figured out what your grip width on the bar should be (there are a lot of tutorials on that out in the world) and that you’ve actually seen a snatch performed. With those two in mind, this video will take you to the getting it overhead position.
I take none of the credit for this series of cues. They were learned from Nick Horton and Tamara Reynolds who are fantabulous coaches and amazing humans all around. I just put them on film for a friend (hence, the “Hi, Abi!” at the beginning of the video). I think they encompass the essence of the snatch.
-start with your shoulders right over the bar, arms look straight when viewed from the side
-bring the bar up to your thighs by moving your knees back and out of the way – “shoot your butt back”
-stand up and pull the bar into your hips (the “power position”) with your lats
– jump with the bar pulled into your hips
-then lock that bitch out overhead by “spreading the bar apart”. End of story.
Please don’t leave a thousand comments about why it’s important to externally rotate the humerus to keep elbows out and protract the shoulders and keep thoracic extension and initiate the movement with leg drive and keep torso angle stable etc etc etc. I know all that. You, if you are saying that, know all that. But it is not essential to learning how to snatch at the very beginning. So let the beginners get a few under their belt before they’re bombarded with the stuff it takes a lifetime to perfect.
And don’t bitch about the “jump” cue. It’s hard for adult learners to understand explosive muscular power in any other way. So shhhh and let the newbies enjoy.