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Snatch Progression

The snatch, the world’s fastest lift, was originally a weightlifting movement rarely seen in traditional gyms or outside of the weightlifting community.  CrossFit has worked to change that, making both the snatch and clean and jerk more accessible to more people.

CrossFit uses the 10 physical skills to help assess an athlete’s overall physical preparedness.  The snatch helps build all of these skills, which makes it one of the hardest moves to master.  The snatch helps build our strength, coordination, cardio endurance, stamina, balance, power, flexibility, speed, accuracy and agility. When training the snatch there are three types of snatches in our snatch progression we should work on; the muscle snatch, the power snatch and the squat snatch.  No matter which one we train, proper form and mechanics should come before intensity and weight especially in newer athletes.

The Muscle Snatch

The muscle snatch is great for working on strength, great for beginners, and is a good technique trainer.  The purpose of the muscle snatch is to get the bar from the floor to overhead in one fast, fluid motion.  Because of this, there is no pull under the bar and helps train proper hip extension as the bar travels upward.

The Power Snatch

The power snatch, catching the snatch in a partial squat, is great as a teaching progression.  In the power snatch, hip extension and catch are both required but less speed and flexibility is needed than in a full squat snatch.  Most power snatching should be at a moderate weight and used to help an athlete progress to a squat snatch.  This movement is also good for athletes who may need modifications such as being unable to squat or having injuries.

The Squat Snatch

The squat snatch is a full snatch, caught in a full squat below parallel.  This is the end goal of the snatch, it is the most powerful, hardest to accomplish and heavier than the other two types of snatches.  This should be practiced so that full range of motion is completed and the athlete feels comfortable being at the bottom of the squat with arms fully extended.