ON THE BENEFITS OF SUBORDINATE EXERCISES
BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY AS WELL AS THE WELL-BEING OF THE MIND
BY DONNY SHANKLE CPT
“Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” Anonymous
Snatch From Hip
Snatching from the hip is a great exercise to get you moving under the bar fast. This exercise is used primarily to warm up your speed. It also teaches a very important mental approach to becoming a successful weightlifter. The moment most people begin lifting weights they are under the impression they need to pull the bar as hard and as high as they possibly can. Instead, think of it this way. The first time you ever pick up the bar stand up with it at your waist. Now from this position think about how fast you can move under the bar. The pull, yes, is very crucial. However, consciously making yourself move under the bar fast and fearlessly in combination with a confident and powerful pull is key to lifting professionally. I do this exercise every single day so I never forget the importance of moving under the bar fast and with a sense of purpose.
When you are snatching from the hip the amount of weight you use is not important. Although, from this position you should be able to snatch near maximum weights, so long as you are moving fast enough under the bar. Again I would like to stress here that SPEED UNDER THE BAR IS EVERYTHING. Instead of heavy weights use either just the bar or a weight that is half of your personal record best. I will mention that snatching from the hip correctly with just the bar perfectly is not as easy to do as you might think. This leads me to another important aspect of the exercise. When you move under the bar your goal should be to have your butt as low to the ground as you are physically able at the same moment your arms lock out. Do not snatch from the hip high and then proceed to ride the bar down in an overhead squat. Snatching from the hip this way is incorrect. Each rep no matter the amount of weight used must be performed the exact same way. Timing the “receive” command perfectly when snatching from the hip with just the bar is very good. Once you feel yourself doing this is the time to begin snatching from the floor.
Staying over the bar for as long as possible during the pull is another important attribute this exercise teaches you. Doing this requires the weightlifter to have a strong back and confidence in his speed under the bar. Staying over the bar means the weightlifter keeps his chest and shoulders in front of the bar during the pull until he decides to bring his hips through. Knowing when to bring the hips through and where to touch past the knee is different for each weightlifter. Bringing the hips through too early, however, and pulling the shoulders back too soon will invariably always cause you to miss a snatch or clean. When you snatch from the hip keep your shoulders well in front the bar at the start.
When snatching from the hip stand up with the bar in your hips and bend your knees slightly. Lean forward until your shoulders are in front the bar and contract your lats so the bar stays in your hips. Do not let the bar separate from your body. There should be no light of day showing between you and the bar. Curl your wrists in slightly. Look straight ahead and instead of thinking finishing hard think about pulling yourself under fast into a rock bottom “receive” command. Great weightlifter Casey Burgener gave me a good analogy to think about when you do this exercise. Remember when you were a kid and to move down the slide faster you grabbed hold of the bar right above the slide and pulled hard. Think of snatching from the hip the same way. Hold on to the bar loosely and pull yourself down fast. When you catch the bar punch up hard with your arms and move your feet fast. Stand up and move back into the start. Repeat the exercise for 2-3 repetitions.
ADVANCED WAY: If you find yourself jumping forward or backward perform the exercise standing on a board. If you jump backward place your heels on the back. If you jump forward place your toes on the front of the board. With each rep focus on not jumping off the board.
DURATION: 10 – 15 minutes
PLACEMENT IN TRAINING: Use this subordinate exercise as a warm-up prior to snatching from the floor.