The snatch, you love it but also hate it at the same time! As you probably know, it exposes pretty much all of your mobility issues.
You constantly tell yourself, "I could snatch it if I could just improve my mobility (position)!". And with that statement, you're probably right!
The receiving position of the snatch is an extremely demanding position for both mobility and stability. It challenges the entire system from the mobility in your ankles to the stability in your shoulders. So to improve your snatch position, you most likely need to improve your mobility!
4 Exercises to Improve your Snatch!
Thoracic Spine Mobilization
A major limiter of overhead position in the snatch is your thoracic spine mobility. If your thoracic spine cannot extend, then you won't be able to establish a good overhead position. This might be the reason why you struggle with overhead squats and often miss your snatch forward. Lay on the ground. Place a pvc pipe so it lays across your upper back, and hook your arms around it while you establish a push up position. Press through your hands, pressing your chest up, trying to wrap your back around the PVC pipe. Keep your hands on the ground through the entire exercise., and really emphasize trying to use the extend your spine around the pvc pipe. Perform 10-15 slow reps.
Lets work on your overhead position some more. If you ever want to properly snatch 225 pounds, you need to have the range of motion to support a barbell overhead. Lie on your back in a dead bug position. Low back needs to be flattened against the bench. Hips and knees at 90 degrees. Arms straight up in the air holding either a 15 pound bar or a PVC with a small amount (~2.5-5 pounds) on it. Keep your low back pressed into the bench, externally rotate your shoulders by trying to "break the bar" by trying to turn your palms in. While holding this position lower your bar slowly over your head(arms straight )as far as you can go while maintaining contact of your low back with the bench. Perform 15 to 20 reps on slow tempo.
Closed chain Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobilization
One of the first places to look regarding your problem of being unable to keep your chest up in the snatch is your ankle range of motion. If you do not have anyone to watch you, get your phone ready to video this next part. Test: feet shoulder width apart with your arms straight up overhead. Feet Pointing directly forward and your arms overhead, and squat as deep as you can. What happens? Do your feet automatic start turning out? Do you automatically get pulled into a forward lean? Do you feel your knees start to cave in so they are now tracking to the inside of your foot? Do your arms get pulled forward? Now put a piece of wood, or a small lift under your heels. And reassess your squat. Can you squat significantly lower? Does your chest now stay upright? Can your knees stay out on your squat? Does your fault disappear? All things that indicate your Ankle restriction probably plays a pretty big roll in your snatch troubles. Try this mobilization out and see if it helps! 1) take your shoe off and set the band low 2) use a box or a plate to raise your foot off the ground, aim for an angle of pull similar to the video 3) keep your toe pointed Forward. With a kettlebell on your knee slowly move yourself through dorsiflexion, slowly into dorsiflexion - hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 10 reps
Hip Mobility: Active IR and ER Rotations
Your hips need to rotate in order to perform a good squat! Sit on the ground with your knees at 90 degrees of flexion and your hips flexed, abducted, and externally rotated. Without using your hands rotate back and forth as seen in the video in a slow controlled manner. Roll to one side and your in ER with one hip and IR with the other, roll to the opposite and it's the opposite. Do this for 30-120s
Give those 4 exercises a try before your next snatch day for a better snatch session! 10-15 minutes is all you need.
Do you have lingering pain? Do you fear hurting your ______ again? Does this fear prevent you from living life fully, and training without limitations? I have good news for you, you don't need to live in fear of _____ pain.
The solution? Bulletproof your body by fixing your foundational movement patterns and building strength within those movement patterns! Build resilience, lift heavy weight, and live your life without pain or worry.
Questions about the content within this post? Interested in how you could eliminate your pain and improve your performance?
Send me an email at Tancini@groundtooverheadphysicaltherapy.com .
I'll be happy to help!
Dr. Michael Tancini, DPT