Analyzing the Snatch

Let’s take a look at some of the technical points of the snatch for today.

By now you know that our major teaching points of the snatch (and clean) are 1) to keep the shoulders over the bar as long as possible and 2) make body to bar contact WITH FORCE (#whammy!).


Floor, Below Knee, Launch Position

Floor, Below Knee, Launch Position

In the setup position from the floor the shoulders should be about even with the bar. The setup can be as simple as to set the bar over the middle of the foot then drop the hips until the shins meet the bar. This will put you in the perfect position to start. It is somewhat different in appearance for everyone. People with long buggy whip arms like myself, for example, look like they are in a weird torture device due to too much limbs and not enough space, but as long as the setup has the shoulders just about even with the bar and the hips low enough so the chest is showing to the wall opposite you then you are good to go.

As we move up (through what is called the “pull”) the important part is keeping the shoulders and hips locked into line so you can move by simply pushing the knees back and elevating the chest and shoulders over the bar. You want to think of the entire movement as having check points. First is below the knee, next is the Launch position. If you keep your shoulders over the bar throughout your rise and hit these check points you are in a good spot to be successful. How you get there is kind of up to you.

Lastly, you need to bring your hips forward WHILE bringing the bar into your hips WHILE sending your shoulders up and back. The back part is key as this not only helps us elevate the bar but also changes direction to get the bar moving back, not just up. If we moved the bar straight up from the start position it would end up in our frontal plane overhead, and that is no good (can’t be supported). Think of the overhead squat. “Overhead” is actually over your rear because this is where our center of mass is in the squat position. The bar is not actually over the head. We need to get the bar there and this is where that change of direction comes into play.

Speed is king in the world of weightlifting. Moving as fast as possible up AND down is what wins wars on the platform. Boys have become men, girls have become women, puppies have become full grown animals. I honestly forget where I was going with this, but bottom line is BE FAST. A lot can be made up for with speed as well. You could have the most perfect pull ever (pull being your rise from the floor, launch, etc) but if you move slowly to get under the bar you won’t be able to make the lift. Move fast, faster than Dexter heading for his bowl during dinner time, and you have a chance at being successful.

Most importantly...failure is not just part of weightlifting, but INTEGRAL to your success. Really think about it, how cool is that? Failing is actually good! You learn from failing. Every lift you make you can feel. Maybe you are a bit forward with your bar, maybe you didn’t get low enough, whatever it is you can feel it out. If and when you fail, rather than kick the bar, swear at Dexter, swear at me, cry, beat Jack, throw the chalk, kick your shoes off, and run out of the gym tearing your clothes off in a rage, stop and think about what went wrong. If you have no idea what that is then feel free to ask. Every time something happens (reaction) there is a reason behind it (action). We just have to figure out the action that caused the reaction and set out to fix it.



Strength: Snatch
High Hang, Low Hang, Floor

40 Wall Ball 20/14
20 Power Snatch 115/80
10 Burpee Muscle Up/20 Burpee Pull Up


SkWAT Team: 5×2 Snatch Pull @ 100% 1rm +


Important for Today: Snatch Complex



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