Hang Snatch to Overhead Squat

Last week we introduced a new “combination” lift to our workout, Hang Snatch to Overhead Squat.  We occasionally add a combination lift (see post Combination Lift) to our weekly workout as a changeup; most recently I have discussed and shown video on the combination lifts Hang Clean to Front Squat, and Hang Clean to Push Press.

We try to be as simple as we can in our teaching and coaching of these combination lifts.  I know you can go into great detail teaching every part of this and every Olympic lift, and if I were training the athletes to be Olympic power lifters, I certainly would do that.  We are using this lift (and all of our lifts) to efficiently train our athletes, both men and women who participate in a variety of sports, to help improve performance in their sport(s).

When we teach it, we break in down into a few pieces that we have already discussed and taught.  To simplify the teaching, we tell the athletes that we want them to go from the Power Position (which they already know as the starting position for several of our lifts) to the Overhead Support Position (which they know from Push Press and Snatch) to the Overhead Squat Position.  The Overhead Squat position is “new” but we use essentially the same terminology as we do in teaching the Squat or Front Squat; Posture, Base, Full Range of Motion, Feet Flat, etc.

Although it is very similar to both the Squat and Front Squat, executing a squat with the bar in the Overhead Support position takes some getting used to especially in regards to balance.  We do this combination lift with light to medium weight, telling our athletes we want the movement to be a smooth, almost graceful motion.

Below is a telestrated video with audio comments showing a few of our athletes completing this combination lift.

As with the other combination lifts, this workout is taxing, but efficient.  In a recent column for PrepsKC.com, Dr. Daniel Lorenz talks about the benefit of these combination lifts for multi-sport athletes:

“Secondly, workouts can be kept shorter for the kids by doing combination lifts. For example, an athlete can do a hang clean to front squat to a press, or a squat to press. These are extremely fatiguing movements, but because it’s multi-joint and gets both upper and lower body, an athlete can do 4-5 sets of this and be done. Numerous combinations exist and are only limited by creativity of the coaches. “

The rest of Dr.Lorenz’s excellent article can be found here: Training the Multi Sport Athlete

Questions and Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Supplemental Lifts – The Hang Snatch

snatchAnother lift that we use to supplement our four Core Lifts (Bench, Squat, Clean, and Push) that make up our weekly (A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout) is the Hang Snatch.  The Hang Snatch is a variation of the Olympic Lift, Snatch, and is essentially the same lift except we start from the hang position as opposed to starting with the weight on the ground.  It is an explosive movement that is going to work many major muscle groups – hamstrings, glutes, gastrocnemius, quads, delts, and traps.

We talk about the hang snatch as being a combination of the hang clean and push press.  The starting position is identical to the hang clean, which is the fundamental athletic position.  The finish position is identical to the push press finish, which is the overhead support position.  We teach each position, and then ask our athletes to move explosively from one position to the next.

We use light to medium weight, typically doing 3 sets of 8 reps.  We stress that the lift should be smooth, explosive, almost an “elegant” type of movement.  If it gets too “herky jerky” and slow, we tell the athletes to use less weight.  If it looks bad – it is… use less weight.

Just as discussed in the Squat, and Push Press breakdown, the athlete will begin with a good athletic posture; good base with feet about shoulder width apart and toes pointed straight forward; stand tall with shoulders back and head forward. We use just a slightly wider grip than in the hang clean, with the hands a few inches outside the shoulders, with the bar hanging from straight arms.

To begin the lift, the bar should slide down your thighs as you bend at ankles, knees and hips and (slightly) at the waist. Chest should be tall with shoulders back. Descent of bar should stop at the top of the knees.  Shoulders should be directly over the hands at the bottom of the descent.

As soon as the bar gets to the bottom of the descent (top of knees) the athlete will explode, extending the ankles, knees, and hips. These three joints are linked, as they all will fire at the same time to produce a force great enough to move the load explosively towards the chin.  We tell the athletes to try to jump, drive their hips to the bar and explode the feet off the ground.

After this explosion or jump phase, the athlete will enter the pull phase, shrugging with the traps, and pulling the bar with your biceps and lats.  We tell the lifters to try to “bounce the weight off the ceiling“.  Just as in the hang clean the bar should remain close to the body during the shrug/ pull phase.  A common mistake is to swing the bar out in an arc away from the body.  The athlete will move the weight, in one continuous motion, through the shrug/ pull phase into the overhead support/ finish position “dipping” to catch the bar with bent legs, while fully extending their arms overhead.  At the top of the lift the bar will travel slightly back, with the lifters head moving forward through the “window” that is formed with their arms being the side of the window and bar the top.  To finish, the athlete will stand or squat back to a fully erect position.

We position our spotters as we do with the push press, at each end of the bar.  Because we are using lighter weight than when doing push press, the spotters should not have to assist the lifter moving the weight from the overhead support position, back down to the start position.

Below is a brief video of some of our student-athletes doing the hang snatch during class last week.  It is telestrated, with audio comments included.

As I have mentioned before, the Central College strength and conditioning site is a great source for training videos.  Below is their video of Hang Snatch technique

Questions or Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com