The snatch, along with the clean and jerk, is an Olympic weightlifting movement which requires a high level of coordination, balance and skill. As expected, it is performed by weightlifters that specifically compete in the discipline, but it also implemented within athletes training programs as a way of improving explosive strength, power and coordination.
The pulling of the barbell off the ground during the initial portion of the lift, along with the squat as the barbell is brought overhead, results in significant engagement of the ankle, knee and hip extender muscles. It is the power training of these muscle groups which makes the snatch, as well as the clean, great choices for inclusion within an athlete’s training program.
The shoulders, arm flexors and trapezius are heavily involved in bringing the barbell above the head, and are recruited in an isometric manner as the athlete maintains the bar overhead during the squat.
For developing all-round explosive strength and power, the snatch ticks all the boxes. The powerful triple extension of the ankles, knees and hips makes it an excellent choice for many sports, such as football, martial arts and athletics, which involve this dynamic action. The upper body is taxed both from the dynamic movement of bringing the barbell above the head, but also isometrically as the bar remains above the athletes head during the squat.