HOW TO SET UP FOR THE SNATCH

HOW TO SET UP FOR THE SNATCH

As the Snatch is a very technical lift, every part of it needs equally tuned focus to execute it perfectly. The set up at the bottom sets the stage for the first portion of the lift (aka the first pull), which sets the athlete up for an excellent second pull (the explosive final attempt at getting the bar as high as possible), which sets up the bar in perfect position for the third pull (also known as a push), where the athlete “catches” the bar in the overhead squat. Today we will only discuss the set up.

The most important aspects of snatch set up are illustrated below:

The arms should be vertical, with the shoulders slightly in front of the bar. The torso needs to be as upright as possible, allowing for the least stress and fatigue on the back.

 

Depending on the shape and size of the athlete, you can see from the photos below, this angle varies and is relative to that athlete. All of these photos demonstrate correct starting positions. Notice how the hip crease is above the knees.

 

Photo from thestrengthagenda.com
The scapulae are not squeezed together, but rather tightened down. The lats are activated. The photo below on the left shows this correctly. The photo on the right has the scapulae incorrectly squeezed together. It’s harder to activate the lats from this position.

 

The elbows are facing outward, the elbow pits in. The photo on the left is correct, the one on the right is not. Notice how much bicep we can see on the right.

 

Notice how World Champion Dimitry Klokov’s elbows are facing out in the photo below. This is not by accident.

 

Photo from myprotein.com

As for the feet, the weight should be mainly centered, as in the photo below. Subtle nuances toward the ball of the foot or heel exist, but are outside the scope of this article.

 

Photo from Team Connecticut Olympic Weightlifting Club

If an athlete’s weight is too far over their toes, as in the photo below, the bar is likely to swing out in front of them, making it more difficult to catch in the proper position.

 


Photo from The CrossFit Journal

If the athlete’s weight is too far in the heels, as in this photo below, they’re likely to scrape their knees on the way up or lose balance backward.

 

Photo from The CrossFit Journal

The set up for the Snatch sets the stage for a beautiful lift. Ask a CHC coach for help in perfecting your set up, and you’re on your way to better lifting!

 

Thanks, Coach Shannon