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Power Snatch

The Snatch

1. The start position:

  • Feet – are at least hip width apart with toes turned slightly out and heels flat on the floor. The weight directed through the feet should be sensed as very slightly towards the balls of the feet.
  • Knees – the angle at the back of the knee joint depends upon the lifter’s lower limb lengths. This also influences the position of the hips.
  • Hips – should be slightly higher than the knees but will depend upon the lower limb lengths as well as the length of back.
  • Back – should be fixed such that the natural curvature of the spine is maintained not only in this position but throughout the lift.
  • Shoulders – these should be in advance of the bar.
  • Chest – expanded and remains so throughout the lift.
  • Head – The head should be in a natural position and not forced upwards.
  • Arms – should be straight, but not tense. Elbows slightly rotated outwards. The advantage of the elbows being rotated outwards is the barbell will stay closer to the lifter also will help the lifter to avoid bringing the arms into play and hinder the explosive hip action.

2. Bar at Knee height:

From the start of the pull to the hang position or just above the knee must be done with the legs. The angle of the back should be maintained as near as possible from the start to this position. The leg action will naturally move the knees slightly backwards allowing the bar to move in a backward direction towards the lifter, ensuring that the main power source, the legs have been the prime movers to this key position.

  • Shoulders – are still forward of the bar. 
  • Arms – are still straight and not tense. 
  • Back – still maintained flat and strong.
  • Head – should still be in a natural position.

3. Explosive hip drive:

As the barbell passes the knee the bar still continues to move towards the hips. The knees will re-bend as the lifter is preparing for the explosive hip thrust. The weight through the feet will be pushing down into the floor. The torso will naturally move upwards. The explosive hip action some believe to be initiated by a stretch reflex on the hamstrings. The explosive hip drive is very similar to an explosive upwards jump.

4. The Drop:

As maximum extension is reached, the lifter has to change direction. Fortunately, the force of gravity plays a big part. At the point of maximum extension, as the bar weight becomes relatively weightless, the feet will lose contact with the ground and under this condition, very little upwards force can be applied to the bar. Due to the upward momentum created by the explosive hip drive and finish of the pull is how this weightlessness or floating zone is reached. This is a split-second timing when the lifter rotates around the barbell and drops to the receiving position

5. The Receiving Position:

The Catch must be in solid low position with the bar above the head and weight balanced in mid foot.

6. The Recovery:

With the bar above the head, the combined centre of gravity will be high and so great care will be needed when standing up. Lifters must keep the hips under the bar as they rise from the squat

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