Teaching the Snatch to a Large Group: Part 2

By E.C. Synkowski and Chris Spealler

Video Article

Join HQ trainers E.C. Synkowski and Chris Spealler as they continue to show athletes and coaches how to teach the snatch to a large group.

In Part 2, Synkowski drills position transitions from mid-shin to mid-thigh to the jump, emphasizing that the athlete needs to remain over the bar as long as possible before the jump. She spends plenty of time on the set-up for the first pull and circles up the group to address and fix faults.

Synkowski suggests slowing the athletes down to fix positional faults before the jump.

“Anybody could go fast off the ground as long as they keep their position,” Synkowski says. “But for most people when they’re learning, they want to rocket: lift their hips too fast, chest too fast. They just want to go fast out of the bottom, and so I try to say, ‘Slow, slow, slow to mid-thigh and then we jump like hell.’ Does that make sense?”

It does, indeed.

8min 50sec

Additional reading: Learning How to Do Full Snatches by Bill Starr, published Jan. 13, 2010.

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2 Comments on “Teaching the Snatch to a Large Group: Part 2”


wrote …

That guy at the end has a good point. The cert was taught with the weightless PVC pipe. I don't think you can transfer that third pull emphasis without that anchor in space. With PVC it's just a drop. Even if you "say" it during the cert, if someone has never been under a weight, they won't have a clue what this third pull really is. I propose adding a section to the cert that is training with weight, aside from the free lift at the end, or make some of the free lift mandatory with light weight. I had the awesome benefit of Josh Everett and Kirk Woolfolk teaching our cert, but I didn't start hitting that third pull until I made it a point during my own individual training. It took some research and feeling it, and this is where the lift really comes together - because I found that when the weights got bigger, my confidence decreased, and the snatch became a power snatch because I couldn't make that third pull happen.

The rest of the video (both parts) is great material. I agree, taking it slow out of the bottom should be priority one for new lifters.


wrote …


While I did have a point, I want to make sure it's taken in context. The objective of teaching the snatch at the L1 Certificate Course is not to produce an army of snatch ninjas; it's to give an overview of the movement and get folks started on their olympic weightlifting journey. Given the objective, EC's teaching and our 20-minute session at the L1 is TOTALLY on point, and a mere mention of the third pull being active "against an anchor in space" is sufficient.

With strong influence from Boz, I believe the role of the snatch in CrossFit is to aid the development of rapid hip extension under load, rather than to create high-level lifters. As such, PVC snatching is a perfectly reasonable first step for the L1. You'll notice that Coach Burgener uses a very similar method before moving on to weighted snatches.

I love your suggestions, even if I don't necessarily agree. All criticism should be accompanied by well-reasoned solutions; thanks for providing them!



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