Weightlifting movements: Snatch

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Weightlifting movements: Snatch

Sports, as everything in life are experiencing constant changes and evolution. We all are witness of how soccer is introducing technology as VAR or how ruby teams wearing cutting-edge technology. Weightlifting isn’t an exception. This sport has been shaped for the past of centuries since the Ancient Greek. Since the first documented weightlifting competition, around 1880 in Piccadilly Circus, different movements has been used to complete these strength feats: one hand twist, one hand swing, two-hand press… But, from 1973 to our days there are two event that reign in weightlifting competitions: snatch and clean and jerk.

This classical even is executed through the action of lifting the barbell from the platform to the extended arms directly, above the dead, by the help of a squat or split. It is made up for the following phases:

1. Starting Position

The weightlifter comes to the bar and places his feet under the barbell. The bar must be above the phalanges of the toes. Then the trunk bends and the barbell is seized in a wide grip. By flexing the legs, the tibia come closer to the barbell and the knees. The shoulders are in front of the barbell, the arms extended and relaxed, because in the first stage of the pull the weight is lifted by the force of the muscles of the legs and the back.

2. Pull

The bar will not a perfectly vertical trajectory during the pull. In the first phases, the bar gets near the weightlifter’s tibia and knees, because of the unbending of the legs and the straightening of the trunk. The arms remain extended with the only role of sustaining the bar.

When the barbell has passed the knees the second phase of the pull begins, the trajectory of the whole pull looking like the elongated letter “S”. The speed increase at this point involving important muscle groups of the body: the muscles of the back and legs. This motion is executed with the trunk erect.

Only at the end of this phase the arms come into action, bending together with the raising of the shoulders as high as possible. In order to gain height, it is necessary to rise in tiptoes at the end of the “explosion”.

3. Drop

This phase of the movement may be executed in two different procedures: with a split or a squat.

If you choose make your snatch with a split it is really important to make the split with the highest speed. The split is performed from the highest position of the pull, the strongest leg is taken ahead and the other backward as fast as possible, leaning with tiptoes on the ground and with toes directed inward. During the split the trunk keeps a vertical position. The split must be executed as deep as possible.

However, if you prefer doing the squat procedure, when the pull has been made and the barbell has been taken to the highest point a squat is executed. This position is characterized by a very stable lateral equilibrium. In order to compensate the forward-backward equilibrium the trunk is much bent forward, meanwhile the arms go much behind.

4. Rising

Rising from the split position takes place after the barbell has been fixed during the split. Together with the beginning of the rising, the center of gravity of the barbell is moved backward, in order to permit the front leg to get straightened and to make half a step back.

Rising from the squat position is executed through the extension of the legs, from a deep squat. If the rising cannot be achieved, the shock produced by hitting the thigs on the shanks is used, which makes the motion much easier.

5. Fixing the barbell above the head

Regardless of the way of rising from the split position, it is necessary to keep the barbell above the head until the signal to put it down is given by referee ot through a buzzer.

The snatch technique lasts for about 3-4 seconds and is achieved with the breath cut off. When the soles have been placed under the bar, several deep breaths are made. It is not recommended to breathe during que rising because, if the thoracic cage is not blocked the relaxation of the trunk may lead the failure of the movement.