6 Drills To Improve Snatch Technique

Going into snatch technique discussion, let’s start with a quick review of what the technique needs to be. Begin by setting the foot width position and establish a proper grip width. When we pull from the floor to the knees, we want the knees to track backward. Then as the bar gets around the knees, the knees reciprocate forward and move under the bar. The area below the knee to above the knee is known as no man’s land. Once the knees have reciprocated under the bar, we stay flat-footed, pull into the hip and make contact, finish with the elbows coming back into a big, strong punch for the catch. 

Is the review good? Great! Let’s get into the four drills to improve the snatch.

1. Banded Stanch Press Into Banded Overhead Squat

Standing up and using PowerLastic bands, we want to light up the shoulders while feeling good tension into the ground through the feet. After doing ten reps, we want to hold tension with the arms extended.

With the arms extended, focusing on shoulder mobility, we then want to squat with the bands extended overhead. There will be more tension at the top of the squat than at the bottom. We need to be stable in the catch. Again, do ten banded overhead squats.

2. Banded Dowel Rod Snatch Press Into Banded Dowel Rod Overhead Squat

Now we want to use the Garage Strength Technique stick in conjunction with the PowerLastic bands. Think of these movements as good drills that will not beat the body up. Use the movements for mobility and visualizing technique while going through the movements. These exercises are so great they can be done at home without waking up the neighbors!

With the banded dowel rod snatch press, we want to execute five to ten reps with a good, quick punch. After completing the banded dowel rod snatch presses, hold tension in the press and perform five to ten overhead banded squats.

3. Banded Dowel Rod Muscle Snatch

This movement is really good for athletes who struggle with the turnover in the snatch. Using a PowerLastic and a Technique Stick we can do a banded muscle snatch. The movement can be used to warm up because it lights up the shoulders. It also allows you to stay flat-footed, feeling a good connection to the ground. The movement also delivers on an idea learned from Brian Secrest, which is the idea of doing weightlifting exercises or movements while staying on the ground as long as possible; it is the idea of having a flat-footed jump. Yes, plantar-flexing will still happen, but the idea of staying flat-footed is actually ideal for keeping the bar close to the hip.

Focus on turning the dowel rod over quicker while keeping the bar close and the elbows back. Do this for at least five to ten reps. Athletes who tend to press out quite a bit or make contact and don’t have awareness of where the bar is, use this movement to improve the mind-muscle connection.

4. Banded Dowel Rod Reciprocation Pulls

This last exercise is a movement that can ingrain the knee patterning in the pull. We want to start from below the knee and feel the tension pulling forward. The PowerLastic can be attached to a jerk box, a table, a door, or anything solid to hold and anchor.

Doing this movement, focus on feeling the knees clear back and then feeling the knees clear under before bringing the banded dowel rod into the hip. This exercise helps the body feel the knees clear back off the floor.


A lot of weightlifters will keep the knees out, struggling to feel the position of the knees moving back and then forward. When the knees move under, the quad and hamstring start to co-contract to lead into a better hip extension and finish.

Recap

The four exercises build upon one another. The banded snatch presses get the shoulders firing and engaged. The banded muscle snatches create a great connection to the bar for a strong finish. The banded dowel rod reciprocation pulls teach the body to load the hamstrings, co-contract as the knees come through and create a better finish into the hip. Put them all together and next thing ya’ know, PR’s are being launched from the floor.


DANE MILLER

Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.

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