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Bobak 05-02-2003 05:06 PM

can someone explain this exercise to me....and proper form..

David Wood 05-02-2003 06:24 PM

Boy, this is a tough one.

The snatch is a pretty complex lift, and it can be very difficult to get correct. This is one that really needs coaching.

I started to write a description / instructions, but after I got to about the 6th paragraph, I realized I wasn't going to do it justice (and heck, I'm not a coach . . . I don't even know if I'm doing right myself), so I figured I better stop.

Very simply, the snatch requires lifting a bar from ground to straight arms overhead, in one continuous motion. It requires "dropping under" the weight as it rises, so you end up catching it (at arms length overhead) in a crouch or split-leg position. Most people use a pretty wide grip, and the bar has to stay VERY close to your body as it rises, even skimming your shins.

You should always start to learn the motion with the lightest possible weight (i.e., a broomstick, not even an unloaded bar). You need to be pretty flexible in hips, knees, and ankles . . . able to squat comfortably with your feet flat on the floor.

That said, no description in words (that I can give) is going to be adequate . . . you have to see it done, and then you really need some good instruction to get the nuances right.

Coach is a huge fan of the World Class Coaching videotapes, available here:

Mine haven't arrived yet, so I can't speak from experience, but I expect they're pretty good.

Another video example I've found on the Web is here

You can also use the excellent "search" function on CrossFit to find the dozens and dozens of posts regarding the snatch . . . there's some good discussion of technique there.

Or, you can put "snatch" and "+Olympic lifting" into Google and come up with 10 screens worth of stuff (I'd definitely recommend adding the "+Olympic lifting" part . . . . "snatch" alone will focus on a movie of that name (and God knows what else)).


Daniel Ramos 05-03-2003 06:59 AM

A few more helpfull pages.

Please study these pages in their thoroughly (specialy the last two).
Your knowlege of usefull strength training will be greatly increased.

Good Luck

PS At least for me, the snatch is the most fun you could ever have with a barbell. Well maybe tha one hand snatch.....
And yes you should do one hand snatches with a barbell.

David Wood 05-03-2003 07:39 PM


What kind of weight can you (or anyone else, for that matter) put up in a one-hand BARBELL snatch?

I can do 135 (two-handed) for maybe 2 reps, and I've done a one-handed DUMBBELL snatch with 80 lbs for 5 or 6 reps . . . always going for at least that many reps, so I have no idea what I could do for a single.

But I really doubt I could control a loaded barbell with more than 50 lbs . . . crappy grip strength.

What kind of form adjustments do you have to make? And other than the truly phenomenonal grip and forearm workout it must provide, what else does the barbell version provide beyond the DB version?

(Not intending to be a smartass, or disrespectful . . . just trying to figure out how much priority I should be giving it).


Daniel Ramos 05-04-2003 09:02 AM

LOL, Dave

You should really try it, it's just plain old fun. I havent trained it seriously for a while but my best efort is 95 pounds(if my memory serves me right, my best efort in the two hand version is 176 at 164 body weight. I use a 6 foot standard bar. You will get used to the balancing prety quick I actualy. I really think that for doing singles it's even easier than a dumbell.

When this lift was contested (it was even part of the olimpics) people where lifting above body weight with it (with non-revolving bars). You will for sure be able to do more than half you two hand snatch. I believe some people have gone up to the 300 range in this lift (but dont quote me on that one).

The best info I have on it is in an old "Dino Files" that I got lying around somewher. If you want to give me an emal adress, of fax number I can get it to you.

Dam you made me want to lift. I'm gona give it a shot tonight to see how I'm doing and post back results later.

good luck
have fun

Dan John 05-05-2003 08:08 AM

Daniel answered most of your questions, but I would only add that one can probably get up to 60+% of their snatch max (two hands) with one. You are still using both legs and your whole torso, so the weights go up pretty easy. For me, the "catch" is the issue...especially with a barbell.

I have an Olympic Dumbell that rotates like an O bar. It didn't cost very much and I do all my one hand lifts with it...and Waiter Walks, too. I found it helps to keep either a 10 or, at most, a 25 pound plate on the inside of the weights and then add heavier plates outside of them. Big plates don't allow your wrist/forearm to "stay in."

The upside of the dumbbell is that you can go heavy and not break stuff. With a barbell, you crash the weights a lot. Fine if you are in a park, not fine if you car is parked next to the platform.

I find one arm snatches much easier than one arm cleans. I have gone fairly heavy with one arm cleans, but the bar really whacks you coming done. The snatches are harder to hold at the top, but easier on the bodywork.

Daniel Ramos 05-06-2003 10:12 AM

Finaly did some one hand snatching aggain yesterday. Before the workout I cheked my logs and noticed that I had made a mistake stating that I had snatched 95 pounds before, the best I could find in my logs was 90.

Lifts went like this

Missed the firts atemps with the right hand on each of the last three weights, but made them on a second atempt. I hit all the my left hand atempts on my first try.

Well all untill I tried an even 100#'s wich I missed miserably with both hands.:sad:

fun for the whole family. Use heavy ruber mats:proud:.


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