The Best Drills for Improving Positioning In The Snatch

James Tatum joins me this week to discuss improving positioning in the snatch for optimal performance and decreasing excessive strain on the body.

James has won three national championships in weightlifting and has extensive knowledge in prepping athletes for maximal strength.

I highly recommend checking out his new eBook THE PHYSICALLY PREPARED WEIGHTLIFTER.


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Positioning In The Snatch

Video Transcript

In this video, James take me through what an ideal position for the snatch looks like. We focus on pushing the knees forward to sit the hips between the ankles and maintain a more upright torso. This positioning will allow an athlete to get into a “stacked” position. Thus, putting the barbell directly over the shoulders & hips for optimal positioning to lift maximal weights. This position will also decrease strain on the anterior shoulder.

For many, achieving this position will be difficult so James and I share four of our favorite drills to work on improving mobility and control specific to the snatch and overhead squat.

The first drill we share is an exaggeration drill. Basically it puts the athlete in a position much more difficult than a standard overhead squat is. Practicing this with even lightweight will improve positioning in the snatch and overhead squats.

Up next we show PVC prone lift offs, one of my all-time favorite shoulder exercises. While lying on his or her stomach, an athlete grabs a PVC pipe with a wide grip and uses their upper back muscles to lift the dowel off the ground. Keep abs and glutes engaged to avoid extending the spine to compensate.

James then shows bent over Y’s which is a great exercise an athlete can use to overload the lower traps and build some serious upper back strength and improve positioning In the snatch.

Finally, we discussed a banded squat with overhead press that I use with athletes needing to learn to squat with a more upright torso if they are doing the Olympic lifts.

For a more detailed overview of the snatch technique, read my previous article on the Biomechanics of the Snatch.