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How to snatch by Aurélien Broussal-Derval

The ultra technical snatch has become a must for the circuits of HIIT and strength and conditioning (S&C). The book Modern Art of High Intensity Training devotes many sessions to it and for good reason: if one takes the time to learn this Olympic lift, it is, without a doubt, one of the most complete movements to be performed, from both a strength and motor perspective. Let’s take the 6 essential steps to carry out this exercise efficiently and safely.

This post is also available in French.

Phase 1 – The starting position

Start with a very wide pronated grip and outstretched straight arms. By keeping the shins in contact with the bar, the knees, toes and shoulders should protrude forward. The feet are flat, more or less hips width apart, pointing very slightly outwards, the weight is slightly on the back of the feet.

Finally, the back is aligned, without exaggeration, respecting the natural curves.

Phase 2 – The first pull

It is the initial movement of the bar, a fast acceleration to bring it from the ground to the knees. Keep your arms straight and do not alter the position of your back. The drive comes from the muscles in the lower body. Your legs remain flexed while passing the support on the tip of the feet.

Phase 3 – Transition

It is a phase of slowdown, so it must be as short as possible. The back straightened slightly, allowing the knees to re-engage under the bar and the latter to reach the middle of the thighs. The support is transferred from the toes to the heels and finally to the soles of the feet, but the feet remain in contact with the ground.

Phase 4 – The second pull

It is always the legs that produce most of the muscular work, continuing the impulse leading to a triple simultaneous extension of the hips, knees and ankles, to their vertical alignment at the end of the movement. This movement powerfully propels the bar upwards and helps pull the arms (shoulder shrug then elbows) before they go under the bar for the catch. Be careful not to let the bar move away from the body at this moment!

Phase 5 – The drop

This complete extension of the body makes it possible to jump down and slip under the bar with bent legs. As you pass under the bar, move your feet laterally to improve stability, receive the bar with straight arms slightly behind the head.
The rebound during the impact on the ground is used to raise the load, thanks to the concentric action of the quadriceps and glutes. Finish the movement by returning the feet to the initial position, opening the chest and advancing the elbows. Core involvement is more essential than ever in this phase.

Phase 6 – Stabilisation

In the final phase of the movement, you must straighten the legs and reposition the feet to their original stance, keeping the arms stretched and the bar slightly behind the axis of the head. The back is straight, with a high glance, fixed on a point just above the horizontal. Do not relax control of your torso or your upper back and shoulders. It is only when fully upright and balanced, that you can release the weight.

Buy The Modern Art of High Intensity Training

This post has also been written in French.

Check out Warm-up advice from Aurélien Broussal-Derval for more great insight by Aurélien.

Modern Art 97814925449991

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Hi, I'm Ryan, the Marketing Manager and chief blogger here at Human Kinetics Europe Ltd. As somewhat of a washed-up athlete I've always had a passion for health, fitness and sport science. I now find myself working at the world’s biggest independent publisher of sport, health, dance and fitness resources. This means I get unrestricted access to all the best, most interesting, scientifically-proven writing on sports science. Of course I'm going to share this with you!

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