3 Simple Steps to Improve the Snatch

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3 Simple Steps to Improve the Snatch


Most coaches would agree that the Snatch is the most beautiful movement in the weight room. Nowhere in the strength & conditioning world is the combination of movement, mobility, and strength better displayed than the Snatch. When I watch one of my athletes complete a perfect snatch, I can’t help but to smile just a little bit. It’s just amazing! The grace and athleticism displayed is the artwork of the weightlifting coach.

Watching a guy like Jared Fleming perform the Snatch is like watching Michael Jordan float through the air on the basketball court. As a coach you watch both of these athletes with an understanding that their ability is unique to them. It is Matisse traveling through space. Normal humans look on at these athletes in awe, and they realize that they are watching greatness.

For most of us the Snatch is the biggest challenge that we will ever have in the weight room. Hopefully today I can give you three tips that will unravel the mystery of the snatch at least just a little. These tips are gathered from top coaches and athletes. Enjoy!

1. Pauses 2 inches off the Floor- Most of us mess up the lift right off the floor. We allow our hips to rise faster than our shoulders, which causes a shift forward that is almost impossible to recover. The exact position of the shoulders in comparison to the hips is unique to the individual lifter. In America especially will deal with athletes that have all different lengths of femurs, torsos, and arms.

In the start position all that matters is that the athlete’s shoulders are above the hips, their backs are completely flat, and their shoulders are over or slightly behind the bar. The keys during the first two inches of the pull are that the hips and shoulders rise at the same time, the back remains tight and flat, the knees start to move back, the shoulders are now over the bar, and the bar either comes straight or starts to sweep back. The one thing that you don’t want to happen is the bar drifting forwards, so all coaching elements are based on not letting this happen.

2. Pauses in the Catch- Travis Cooper of Team MDUSA is the one that turned me on to these. Pauses in the catch of the Snatch will expose imperfections of the pull with lighter weights, which will cause the athlete to focus on the bar path. A lot of times an athlete can catch lightweights slightly forward, take a step, and still make the weight. However, if you are performing a max lift and the weight is forward during the catch, that will end up a missed lift.

3. Position Pull to Snatch- If you can define the aspect of the pull where things are going wrong, performing that aspect of the pull 1-3 reps before completing the snatch can help correct the problem. Sean Rigsby has used this exercise to make some serious gains in the Snatch. He was sitting around 137k, and now he has registered a 152k Snatch. That’s a huge increase! You are simply reprogramming the CNS with the correct movement pattern. It is the same thing as improving a foul shot in basketball. It just takes practice.

Here is a video that will help you see some solid aspects of the pull:

These are just three simple ways to improve the lift that we all want to improve upon. Let’s face it, we all want to look cool while performing the lift as well. Let’s call it “Lifter Swag”! We all want it, so hopefully these three exercises will help you obtain it.

Team Mash Elite is off and running. Our goal to improve the sport of Olympic weightlifting is having progress already. However we still need your help in making our dream a reality. We are also very excited to watch our ‘youth at risk’ program scatter throughout America and the world. Here is a full report of the progress: “Team Mash Elite Update”

Here are the ways that you can help with this dream:

1. Become an affiliate– Our first affiliate ever was Undisputed Strength and Conditioning in Minneapolis, MN. Vinh, Jason, and the team up there is an extension of our team in North Carolina. They coach with us at National meets, and their athletes are a part of our National Teams. We are one big family. For more details about becoming an affiliate email affiliates@mashelite.com

2. Become a Partner– for more information about that email me personally Travis.Mash@mashelite.com

3. Donate to the Team– thousands of you guys and gals read these article every day. If all of you donated $1-2 we would be in a much better situation. Click on the link below to donate:

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4. Come to the 3-day Mash Camp July 8th thru the 10th click the link below to find out more:

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5. Volunteer with fundraising, administration, or simply prayers. If you want to help, email us at:


We have big goals. We get it. We will definitely need all the help that we can get. This thing is bigger than three coaches. We need a team. A massive team! We are going to either do this once and for all, or stop talking about why America is terrible on the international scene. This is a chance for all of us to have a part in this.

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