The set-up, or starting position, for the snatch is an often-overlooked aspect of the lift. Having a proper set-up is the first step to ensuring that you have a solid lift. Here is a checklist of five components to a proper set-up:
Stance. When setting up for the snatch, the feet should be hip width apart, with the toes pointing straight ahead or slightly outward. This hip-width stance will allow for great force in the pulling of the bar off of the ground. The bar should be no further than an inch away from the body in the starting position.
Grip. A wide grip is used during the snatch. The grip should be wide enough to where the bar is at the hips when the athlete is fully extended with the hips and knees locked out. It is also important that a hook grip be utilized. A hook grip is where the thumb wraps under the bar and the index and middle finger wrap over the thumb.
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Shoulder position. The shoulders should be slightly over the bar when in the starting position of the snatch. The athlete should keep in mind that their weight should be in their mid-foot, so leaning too far forward may shift their weight into their forefoot.
Elbow position. In the starting position for the snatch, the elbows should be pointing outwards. In the second pull, or upright row, the bar will be pulled toward the chest, up against the body, with the elbows high and outside. The athlete should make sure the elbows are out during the set-up, before the bar leaves the ground.
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Hip position. The last component, before the bar is pulled off the ground, is to get the hips into a squat position. The hips should be below the knees and the knees should be pulled outward to allow for greater force. The athlete should have tension throughout their body except for their arms. The arms should stay relaxed as they act as a whip when pulling the bar in that second pull.
These five components are essential to the starting position of the snatch. By focusing on these key points, athletes will ensure that they are in the best position for success. Attention to detail and repetition with the proper position will help to improve lifts.