There is one movement which I think challenges your body in more ways than any other. It involves Speed, power, strength, mobility, stability and coordination. It works every single muscle within your entire body. It is one of the most effective core strengthening exercises there is and will pack muscle on your abs like nothing else. It involves a pull from the floor, a squat and holding/pressing something over head. It also happens to be my very favorite movement.
The Snatch, the full snatch….with a squat.
A snatch involves the athlete pulling a bar from the floor and throwing it overhead while simultaneously dropping underneath it and catching it in the bottom of an overhead squat. From here they must balance the weight over their heads before standing up where the movement ends. There is nothing else like it.
The thing that I like the most about the snatch is that getting stronger does not necessarily improve the weight you can move with this lift. The real sticking point for most people is getting into the overhead squat position at the bottom what is known as the “catch position” of the lift. The athlete has to have the MOBILITY to get into that position and then they must have the STABILITY needed to support weight while there. This is why in the Olympics you will see tiny women snatching huge weights. Yes they are STRONG AS HELL but they also have incredible technique and the mobility needed to get under that bar.
That catch position, the bottom of an overhead squat, is a good place for athletes to start when building the base for their snatch. An overhead squat with a PVC pipe can humble you like nothing else. If it is difficult for you then the PVC pipe will most likely show that you have one if not all of the following: tight calfs and/or ankles, your hips are all locked up and that your thoracic spine and shoulders are stuck in a forward hunched position.
Improving your squat strength alone will not help you here. To improve this movement you need to spend time working these positions. For most people it took you years to get tight. You went from being a baby who could touch their toes and sit on the floor no problem, to where you are now where you might have difficulty putting on your shoes and socks. It took years to develop these issues and it will take time to reverse them. A consistent steady approach is the only way to improve your movement and get better at these positions.
If you are finding yourself having difficulty getting into this position (how did your overhead squats go today?) let me show you some tips and tricks you can use to improve those tight spots. I am coaching the upcoming mobility clinic and improving your overhead squat is exactly what I intend to do. It starts Sunday October 8th at 8am and runs every Sunday from 8-9am for 6 weeks. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell here you want one of the few remaining spots.
See you there!