Skill Work: The Snatch

The Snatch. Such a lovely name, right? It’s probably one of the most dreaded Olympic lifts out there. It is a difficult lift that requires a lot of strength, mobility and good technique. I personally love it. I love the physical and the mental challenge that goes into it.

A couple months ago I couldn’t get 55lbs over my head and catch it in a squat, but now I’m able to get 75lbs up AND catch it in that dreaded squat. Seeing progress is what makes me love it even more.

The picture below shows you from start to finish what the lift is supposed to look like. (Click on the picture to enlarge)

photo courtesy of Hookgrip

Photo courtesy of Hookgrip

So many different movements go into making this a successful lift. Keep your back straight, engage your core, pop your hips, shrug shrug shrug those shoulders, elbows up, get under that bar quickly and lock those shoulders to stabilize the bar over your head. I’m probably forgetting a few steps. But that is why I make sure to put in the extra time outside the regular WOD to practice.

The video above shows me working on my snatch. (Go ahead and insert your that’s what she said comment here) This was one of many videos. I would forget to shrug, or I wouldn’t drop under the bar fast enough, or I’d pause half way down into my squat. All things that can be fixed with practice– so that is what we did.

One of my friends at the gym is CrossFit Level 1 certified and was helping me out with a few drills. You’ll see her holding a PVC pipe close to the barbell. She did this to make sure I would remember to shrug my shoulders instead of popping the barbell out with my hips and muscling it up over my head. If the bar touched the PVC then that meant I needed to shrug my shoulders and keep the bar as close to my body as possible. You still want to use your hips to pop it up, you just want to make sure it stays close to the body when you’re bringing it up. (Good thing I don’t have big boobs!)

Once I got the shrug down she started to hold the PVC up at my shoulders. If the barbell touched the PVC while it was over my head that meant I wasn’t dropping under it fast enough. Dropping under it is more mental than physical for me. Holding 75lbs of weight over your head is scary. Since I need to get more comfortable in my squat, she’d make me hold that position for a few seconds once I was there. Tons of fun!

See what I mean? So many different parts of the lift to think about.

Some coaches at my gym have told me I should switch my focus to the Olympic lifts and start putting more time into them because I have a natural ability to understand the technique. I know that you have to have good form first before you can work on building strength. Quality over quantity, y’all! I plan to start attending our weekly oly class to get more experience with these lifts– it’d be awesome to snatch 100lbs one day! New goal: SET!

CrossFit is one of the most humbling things I’ve ever done or been a part of and I love that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. I am a constant work in progress in so many ways and will get to where I’m going as long as I put in the time.

Keep working toward your goals– we’ll get there together!

Happy snatching, y’all!


About Fit With Lo

I'm your average girl working as a PR professional in Washington, DC and documenting my passion for fitness, food and family. Thanks for joining me on my trek to wellness
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