5 Benefits Of The CrossFit Snatch
Performing the CrossFit snatch can be one of the quickest ways to boost (or bust) your confidence in the box. It’s an explosive, powerful, and impressive movement that requires full body strength, coordination, and mobility. Whether you’re brand new or you’re a seasoned vet this is one movement you’re going to want to make sure to work on regularly throughout your training and workout cycles. Let’s dig into the 5 benefits of the CrossFit snatch and why we love this movement so much.
What Is The CrossFit Snatch
The CrossFit snatch is an olympic lifting movement that is regularly programmed in competition, training programs and classes. The movement itself starts with the barbell on the floor in a deadlift-like position with the body and ends with the barbell in the overhead position.
How To Do The CrossFit Snatch
While technical, it is recommended that you start with lightweight, the bar, or even just a PVC pipe until you’re more familiar with the movement.
Step 1: Place hands on the bar with a snatch grip or wide grip. Place the fingers over the thumb in a hook grip position.
Step 2: With the feet at hip or shoulder width, lower the hips with a strong back, lats tucked, and eyes forward until you’re in a seated or beginning position
Step 3: The shoulders and hips will rise through this movement and the next at the same time. Pull the bar up the shins, keeping the eyes forward, then over the knees.
Step 4: As the bar comes over the knees and you continue to extend your legs and your torso into a standing position, begin to bring the hips to the bar to generate power and the force required to get the bar overhead.
Step 5: Once the bar has reached the hips and the power is generated upward, begin to use the upper body to pull the bar up towards the chest and eventually overhead.
Step 6: After you reach full extension or the triple extension, you’ll begin to pull the body under the bar (as it has reached its maximal height) until you catch the bar overhead.
Step 7: After you catch the bar overhead and you’re either in a power or squat position, stand tall, locking out the knees and hips for the full rep to count, then bring the bar back to the body and eventually back to the floor (don’t ever drop barbells from all the way overhead, it’s terrible for the equipment and can cause injury if your bar and weights go bouncing into someone).
5 Benefits Of The CrossFit Snatch
Aside from the benefits we already mentioned, here are 5 amazing reasons and benefits that you can reap from regularly practicing and performing the CrossFit Snatch.
Improved Balance and Coordination
You might not think about balance and coordination often, but they’re arguably two of the most important skills we develop when practicing movements like the CrossFit snatch that keep us from injury and accidents. When we’re able to perform movements effectively and precisely, we do them well. When we do the movement well, we can support more weight, move faster, or move up in the leaderboard. The more we’re aware of our body we are with proprioception (awareness), the more we’re able to balance loads as we move through space or balance weight on the body (walking lunges anyone?). Not only that, but we’re able to reduce the likelihood of injury and accidents both in and out of the box. Since the snatch is so technical, improved balance and coordination will come with proper mechanics and starting with weights that support form instead of your ego.
Improved Posture and Posterior Chain Strength
Improved posture, better core stability, and improved posterior chain (your back) strength all are benefits of the CrossFit snatch that you’ll reap when you regularly practice the movement. As the muscles of the core and the back get stronger, you’ll naturally want to stand taller, with the shoulders in alignment, because there is more strength in the upper body to keep the spine and other parts of the skeletal structure in place. In short, the muscles pull up, and back, helping you feel better both in and out of the gym. Not to mention as these muscles get stronger and more balanced you’ll be able to have a stronger pull, catch, and overhead squat ability when practicing your snatch in CrossFit.
Increased Power Utilization and Force Production
Not to get science-y or anything, but power is force output (or work) per unit of time. When it comes to weightlifting and weight training the more power and force production you have, the more you’ll be able to lift, and the better athlete you’ll be. It’s not just about how much you can lift but how fast you can lift it at that specific weight. The more weight, the faster it gets, the more power utilization you have to take advantage of. Now what does force production have to do with it? Glad you asked. When your movements ‘hit right on the mark’ or have that really amazing feeling to them, where everything works at the right time, that’s thanks to force production. As you train, you improve the threshold you have for max force production, resulting in higher weights, better performance, and overall increased capacity to perform movements in your programming. Now that’s a win-win.
Increased Muscle Recruitment and CNS Function
Your CNS, or the central nervous system, is responsible for providing nerve innervation to the muscles when your body needs to use them. The more you use your muscles, the more demand you put on them through regular training, the more efficient your CNS gets at rapidly sending signals. You ever watch someone do a CrossFit snatch and it is snappy as hell? Like how did they even move under the bar that fast snappy? Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about! While you might think that training is all about big muscles and lifting weights, there’s a lot of work being done ‘behind the scenes’ in the body to make it happen. In short? Snatch often and get snappy, your CNS will thank you later.
Improved Athletic Performance and Ability
Considering the simple fact that the CrossFit Snatch is a difficult movement that requires skill, finesse, and power, the skills that you develop in this movement training are going to carry over into other areas of your athletic performance and ability. Due to the high recruitment of muscle fibers, muscle activation, strength and power utilization, you can expect to see yourself jumping higher, running faster, and performing better in other low weight or bodyweight movements.
CrossFit Snatch: Takeaway
Regardless of your strength or ability this full body weightlifting movement can help you develop a wide variety of skills and strengths, like improved balance, coordination, muscle recruitment, power and posture. However, we do recommend taking it slow, focusing on form over speed, and not bumping up the weight too fast. With technical movements come many moving parts and the last thing you want to do is get defeated mentally or hurt physically. All in all, the snatch is a great movement to get stronger and become a better athlete.
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