Proper movement patterns are a cornerstone of all athletic success. Remember that each time you do any athletic movement you are engraining either good movement patterns or poor movement patterns. Be sure to take the time to learn all of the Olympic Lifting patterns with just an empty bar. If an empty bar is still too much load for you to perform the movements with perfection, then use a litter bar or even a broomstick.
In this article, we will be covering the muscle snatch from the crease.
First, grasp the bar with a snatch grip. To find your snatch grip hold the bar at waist level with locked-out elbows. Slowly adjust your grip in or out, while still maintaining straight arms, until the bar hangs at the height of your crease (The crease is the point where your upper leg joins together with your torso. The line that is formed here in your hips is the crease). Be sure you have an even grip on the bar, you do not want the bar either off to the left or the right. Begin with the bar hanging in front of your hips and standing with your feet hip-width apart. This next piece might sound like an optional step, but it is paramount when it comes to performing the Olympic Lifts properly as we progress into explosive lifting. Hold the bar with a ”hook grip”. This is where your fingers wrap around your thumb and the bar having both your thumb and the bar inside your fist. See the picture below:
Standing tall with your toes pointed straight ahead, tighten your belly. As with all pulling positions in Olympic Lifting, think of the following three steps in order to begin every repetition.
Turn your elbows out [so they point at the weights on the ends of the bar]
Pull your shoulders back [pinching your shoulder blades against your spine]
Turn your knuckles under [so they are pointing at the ground while you hold the bar]
Begin with your elbows straight. Slightly dip from the knees [while maintaining a vertical torso] then drive your feet straight into the ground, this will put a little momentum into the bar. Once your knees have straightened out, lift your elbows up to above the level of your shoulders. Keep your elbows pointed out towards the ends of the bar and keep the bar almost touching your torso as it rises up above your sternum. Once the bar moves higher than your sternum, turn your palms up and press your arms overhead until your elbows are straight. Receive the bar overhead with your palms pointing upwards towards the sky. This externally rotates your shoulders within the capsule. In order to handle loads overhead while minimizing the work your shoulders feel, you must maintain this externally rotated position. Aim to have the bar balanced just behind your ears while your ears are positioned slightly forward of your collar bones (this will result in the bar being directly above your shoulders as well as directly above the center of your feet). The bar should always stay directly above the center of your feet. You never want to have the bar move out in front of your shoes, this will only create forces that are moving out away from your body.
Slowly lower the bar back down to the starting position. [Even though this pattern normally has points that move explosively when doing a snatch, keep the bar patterns always moving slowly to establish perfect positions].
Here are 4 key steps to think about while doing the muscle snatch from the crease:
Set up every repetition by turning your elbows out, pulling your shoulders back and turning your knuckles under.
Keep your chin level to the floor.
Drive your feet straight down into the ground to begin the movement.
Always keep the bar moving in a vertical line above the center of your feet.