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Efficiency Tips: The Snatch by Eric O’Connor and Chris Spealler - CrossFit Journal

Efficiency Tips: The Snatch

By Eric O’Connor and Chris Spealler

In Competition, CrossFit, CrossFit Games, Videos

February 29, 2012

Video Article

In this video filmed at a CrossFit Competitors Course at CrossFit Park City, Eric O’Connor and Chris Spealler show how to use the snatch in workouts that test speed and conditioning rather than just max strength and power.

The muscle-snatch technique is a great way to cycle reps quickly, and the bar path should still be very tight to the body. Loopy bar paths are inefficient and undesirable—just as they are in the full squat snatch performed on a platform. O’Connor also covers the return to the ground, which is where you can greatly increase the cycle time by actively pulling the bar down for touch-and-go reps.

If a muscle snatch is unavailable, the power snatch is the next best choice. You want to pull the bar as high as possible to eliminate the deeper squats in the receiving position, and if you can avoid having to reset your feet from landing position to pulling position, you’ll further increase speed.

With the full squat snatch and a light load, you just might want to consider not fully extending the hips on the pull. As strange as that might seem at first, remember that we are considering light loads, and fully extending might result in an over-pull that wastes a lot of time and energy. Similarly, if you can pull the rep with your feet already in the squat position, you’ll save time.

5min 46sec

Additional reading: Snatch Strategies for CrossFit Workouts and Competitions by Dave Castro, published June 2, 2010.

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13 Comments on “Efficiency Tips: The Snatch”


wrote …

Speal is looking buff!


wrote …

Gotta love the Product placement of all the reebok stuff.. shoes, shirts... nice..


wrote …

Do we count it if the athlete gets the weight overhead with a slight elbow break, but is able to lock the arm out once overhead?


wrote …

interesting audience present for that video. I am guessing they weren't the target of this lesson.


wrote …

Is there any press out allowed? It doesnt mention it in the description.


wrote …

I see what you did here HQ! Posting this just a few hours before announcing the 12.2 WOD!!


wrote …

@Sean according to the video it does appear that a press out would be fine. That would be more like a muscle snatch right?


wrote …

@ Jacob - I've watched several submitted videos - it appears if the weight is overhead and the athlete is pressing the bar out, it does count. From what I've seen the weight has to be generally overhead before the press out, in order to count. Obviously, no pause at the shoulder area is permitted.

If someone has a different opinion let me know. Sean


wrote …

The product placement sure worked on me! Anyone aware of what model of Reebok shoes Speal is wearing?


wrote …

Wish I'd watched this BEFORE I did WOD 12.2 this AM. Damn.


wrote …

every true weightlifter would cry to see the snatch taught this way. not sure if that is good or bad. just crossfit. was talking to a friend about MMA and he was saying that MMA fighters aren't particularly great at any one thing - just good at a lot of things. Sounds like crossfitter to me.


replied to comment from Matt Cavallaro

Matt - I see where you are coming from. I take this video more as a way to "game the WOD" vs an actual snatch technique video. There are some really good articles and videos in the archives about getting good snatch technique everyone should check out. IMHO - more novice crossfitters/lifters shouldn't even watch this video, work the technique, take your time to do it right and then worry about speed and efficiency. If you only get a 10-20 score on the WOD so what, you're just getting into it. Remember, mechanics, consistency then intensity.


replied to comment from Matt Cavallaro

Looking for a good video resource to break down the snatch for newbie athletes...especially those athletes over 6'. I'm 5'9 and 210 and have been doing snatches since 8th grade wrestling....I have some motor patterns that are burnt into my cortex. I do things without thinking...and can move 225 with ease fpr 6-8 reps...never really go higher (never had to wrestle anyone who weighed more).

I'm a level 1 crossfit trainer. Teaching the snatch is critical and very difficult for me. Any media resources you'd recommend?

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