Get the barbell from the ground to over your head…sounds easy right? Once you have become familiar with the snatch you begin to understand why this is the most technical lift in the world. In order for you to become more proficient at the snatch we will often have you pull from different positions, or have you perform accessory lifts that transfer to the snatch. There is a big learning curve in CrossFit because we incorporate so many different lifts, skills, and movements. Sometimes I feel like this can be overwhelming so I want to spend some time going over some of the basics of the snatch.
The snatch can be broken down into 3 segments or pulls. The first is the lift off, where the lifter will push away from the ground and the bar will travel to just above the knee. The second is the fastest and most powerful part of the lift where the bar will be pulled from just above the knees, through the hips, to just below the chest. The third pull is when the bar is at maximum height and the lifter pulls their body under the bar and receives the weight overhead.
Next, I will go over the 3 main positions you will snatch from, starting from the top down:
Power position or high-hang: in this position the bar will be slightly below your hip crease. Snatching from this position forces the lifter to focus on violent hip extension and speed under the bar. It is also a great position to use for those new to the snatch as it reduces the total distance the bar must travel.
Above the knee or mid-hang: in this position the bar will be just above the knee or around mid-thigh level. Snatching from this position moves the bar slightly lower to the ground and increases the total distance of bar travel. This position will assist with gaining proficiency in the 2nd pull of the snatch.
Floor: in this position the bar will start on the ground and the entire lift will be performed. If you see “snatch” on the board, this is the position we are referring to.
Hopefully this helped alleviate any confusion regarding positioning and the different segments of the snatch. If you ever have questions or need some extra help with any lifts, skills, or movements please let us know. We love this stuff and we love helping you improve. Now, next time you snatch I want you to look like this.