When you’re a strength coach you have a limited amount of time with your athletes. The limited amount of time forces you to do movements that will give you the most bang for your buck. The snatch fits the bill, as you can get more out of the snatch than most other movements.
The snatch can help….
· Improve explosive triple extension (hip, knee, ankle) seen every time someone runs or jumps
· Improve bracing throughout the body
· Improve coordination in firing multiple muscles groups at the same time
· Improve mobility – hips, ankles, t-spine, shoulders
· Improve shoulder stability
· Increase torque and power
· Teach muscles to rapidly turn on, turn off and turn on – in turn creating a quicker athlete
· Increase proprioception
But wait…. What about baseball players? Surely, they shouldn’t be doing something crazy like a snatch? Actually, baseball players can benefit from all of these things. Do they not run and jump? Do they not need to brace or fire multiple muscle groups at the same time? Will they not benefit from improved mobility, shoulder stability and proprioception? Do they not need to be quick? Does a baseball player need to generate torque and power? Wait for it…. Hell yes they need these things! With that said, let’s keep our senses here. Not all baseball players are great lifters. Not all baseball players are athletic. (Sorry, but that shit is true). Not all baseball players have shoulders and elbows healthy enough to perform the snatch. So, should we keep it in the program? Depends, it depends on the factors just listed. What can be performed with nearly all baseball players are variations of the snatch. Some may benefit greatly from the full lift, some just a power version, maybe a split version. There is also great benefit from the pull, dumbbell variations and kettlebell variations. The answer depends on you. Can you teach it? Can you identify when it should or shouldn’t be used and what variations are appropriate?
Baseball is just an easy example because the snatch is taboo in that sport. However, this reasoning applies to all sports and beyond sport. Is there not an athlete in the world that wouldn’t benefit from the incomplete list above? Heck, what human being wouldn’t benefit from those improvements. The trick is knowing your athletes and knowing when the rewards outweigh the risks.
Don’t neglect something as beautiful as the snatch just because others are afraid!