In part one of this series we learned how to get started on the clean and jerk. In this second part, we take on the other lift in Olympic Weightlifting: the snatch. The snatch is not the easiest lift to learn, but with consistent practice it can be an effective and rewarding addition to your fitness routine. Like with the clean and jerk, standing presses, squats/deadlifts and clean-deadlift-shrug are good foundation exercises to master as you learn proper snatch technique. Similar to the clean and jerk, studying photos and videos will help, but you have to grab a bar and practice to master these lifts. Don’t forget to do a thorough warm-up and light stretching with particular attention on the shoulders and hips. Ramping up is also one of the best ways to prevent injury and increase explosive strength!
Make sure your watch the beginners guide to Olympic lifts below.
Beginners Guide to Olympic Lifts – Doing a Snatch
- Squat down and grasp the barbell with your hands about 6-8 inches wider than your shoulders. (experiment to find the exact grip for you) Feet should be spaced shoulder width apart.
- With head up and flat back lift the weight by standing up. As the bar reaches your thighs accelerate the bar by extending your body, rising up on your toes and pulling on the bar forcefully.
- When the bar reaches your chest start to change direction into a squat (at full speed this amounts to a little hop)
- As the bar passes your head flip your wrists over pulling the bar to lock out above your head. Allow yourself to sink under control into a full squat.
- Stand up deliberately with the weight over your head/arms fully extended.
- Take a deep breath and lower the barbell under control to the floor. (as with the clean and jerk, if you are using a lifting platform and bumper/rubberized plates you can drop the weight to the floor)
The Beginner’s Guide to Olympic Lifts
Crossfit has hit the fitness scene and become an immediate hit all over the world. Among some of the most effective exercises in Crossfit are the inclusion of Olympic lifts. If you’re already a “crossfitter” then you know this. If you are thinking about taking CrossFit in the future, this information on the beginners’ guide to Olympic lifts will be an invaluable piece of information. This guide will also help fitness enthusiasts to critique their form and improve the benefits that Olympic lifting can provide. Make sure you share it with your fellow workout buddies and cross fitters all over the world!
Already a Crossfitter? Read this hilarious guide by Buzzfeed, “20 Ways to Know You’re a Crossfitter.”