Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed
THE MUSCLE SNATCH
by Mark Cameron
as told to Bob Hoffman
The most critical position of the snatch is that which is at the very extension of the pull. Any degree of error at this point can result in failure.
Not being able to properly extend at the finish could be due to faulty technique in the pull or a lack of strength in those muscles.
An exercise which will strengthen those muscles plus develop the proper motor pathways for moving straight and quickly under the bar is what I call the "Real Power Snatch" or "Muscle Snatches."
There are several variations of this exercise, depending upon how much dip is used before pulling.
The movement is done as follows (see photos below):
1 -- Deadlift the weight to an erect position; dip to the desired leverage point;
a) no dip at all, this is a pure strength developer
b) a small dip just to give the bar momentum
c) just below the knees, this will strengthen the motor pathwsays involved as well as the muscles.
2 -- Extend the body, emphasizing standing erect and hitting a full extension before pulling with the arms. Keep the bar as close to the body as possible at all times and the elbows well out to the sides.
3 -- Without rebending the legs, power snatch the weight, making sure the wrists do not turn over before the bar reaches above head level and there is no lean back of the body.
Remember to pull straight and keep the bar in close. If you can scrape it against the chest this is all the better. This exercise is not one which utilizes a lot of weight as you will discover once you try it. Alexeev was handling 198 for 3 reps prior to the Manila World Championships. [He snatched 407 there).
High repetitions are used for this movement. I've always preferred 3 to 8 reps, depending on the closeness of a contest.
Deadlift the weight to the starting position.
Dip to the desired leverage point.
Power Snatch the weight, keeping it close.
Finish without dipping the legs.