In my work as a strength and conditioning coach I have two objectives
- Improve the sports performance of the athlete, in order to give the athlete the best chances to be successful in competition
- Prevent injuries, only a healthy athlete can perform
Let’s have a look, how Power Snatches can improve athletic performance and how Power Snatches can prevent injuries and consequently answer the question of this article Why are Power Snatches important for athletes.
How Power Snatches can improve athletic performance
Let’s have a look at a few points, how Power Snatches can improve athletic performance.
Power Snatches improve Power production
The Power Snatch is one of the best strength exercises to improve power production. Power is the product of force and velocity, for more information on Power, check out the article
This is exactly where the Power Snatch comes in because the Power Snatch requires you to lift a heavy weight quickly. As a side note, the Power Snatch has shown to have the highest barbell velocities compared to any other strength exercise (excluding ballistic strength exercises and plyometric training exercises).
Power Snatches and the Force-velocity Curve
Have you heard of the force-velocity curve?
The force-velocity curve explains that force and velocity have a linear relation. This means, if
- the force applied is high, the velocity of the movement is low
- the velocity of the movement is high, the force applied is low
Let’s look at a simple example.
If you think about a heavy Deadlift, the force that needs to be applied is high and the velocity of the movement is low. You might have seen Deadlifts that take a few seconds from start to completion.
On the other side, if you think about throwing a light object, such as a tennis ball, the velocity of the movement is high, whilst the force applied to the movement is low.
So, what does that mean for our strength training?
Most of the strength exercises are performed with a high force application and low velocity, just think about Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Presses, etc or on the other side exercises are performed with a high velocity and low force application, think about your plyometric jumps or medicine ball throws.
The Power Snatch is actually an exercise that bridges the high force side and high-velocity side of the force-velocity relation, as no other exercise.
Power Snatches are important for athletes of almost any sport
The Power Snatch is also one of the best exercises to train and improve a powerful triple extension.
What is a triple extension?
The triple extension refers to the extension of hip, knee, and ankle. If you want to read more on the triple extension, check out the article
Why is the triple extension important?
You can find and see a triple extension in every sport that involves some form of running, jumping, throwing, hitting, kicking or changing direction.
With this in mind, you can see, how the Power Snatch can actually help athletes of almost every sport.
Power Snatches train Core Stability
One thing that is often overlooked, is that the Power Snatch trains vertical stability. Once you catch and stabilize the weight overhead in the catch phase and recovery phase of the lift, your vertical stability is challenged from the top to the bottom, which also makes the Power Snatch a great core stability exercise.
If you want to read more about the concept of vertical stability and why it is important for sports, check out the article
If you want to check out the different phases of the Power Snatch technique, check out the article
Power Snatches won’t let you train sloppy!
The Power Snatch and the Power Snatch technique requires you to train, what I like to call, precisely.
Unlike any other exercise, the Power Snatch won’t forgive you working sloppy and won’t allow you to muscle the weight into the correct position.
What do I mean by that?
If you want to receive and stabilize the weight overhead, you need to work precisely to get the weight into the right position. There is very little margin, a centimeter can make the difference between making the lift or not making the lift. if you get the bar an inch too far in front you will lose the bar forward, if you get the bar a bit too far behind you, you will lose the bar backward.
This can be very frustrating and is often the reason, why athletes don’t like the exercise, is especially athletes that are particularly strong and powerful. They have problems accepting the fact, that you simply can’t muscle the Power Snatch, as they are used to with any other exercise.
The Power Snatch can prevent injuries
This is pretty much against common wisdom and the general belief, that the Power Snatch is one of the exercises, that will put you more at risk for injuries than other lifts.
To start the discussion, I would like to mention, that if the Power Snatch technique is executed correctly, the exercise is safe.
If it’s executed incorrectly, it’s unsafe – as any other exercise that is executed incorrectly.
Let’s have a look at a few points how the Power Snatch can help preventing injuries.
Power Snatches make your shoulder stronger
This will probably offend most people since it’s believed that the Power Snatch is potentially dangerous for the shoulder.
However, if you dominate the Power Snatch technique and you are able to lift more weight over time, you will also catch and stabilize more and more weight over your head, which will improve your shoulder stability mechanisms. Which is important for throwing sports and batting sports.
So, why are there so many reported cases, that the Power Snatch has harmed the shoulder?
In my opinion, the two biggest factors asking for problems is incorrect technique and that the loading isn’t monitored appropriately.
It is true, that in the Power Snatch, as well as in the Overhead Squat, the weakest link in the entire movement is the shoulder. So, if anything goes wrong, that’s where you will see it.
Power Snatches will give you a rock solid core
I know, I have outlined this point of improving vertical stability and core stability before as an argument for how the Power Snatch can improve performance, but it fits in here as well.
In recent years athletes, coaches, and other support staff have been very conscious and concerned about the need for core stability in athletes and the lack of core stability has been named as one of the main reasons for any kind of injury.
With the Power Snatch training and improving vertical stability, the Power Snatch can also be viewed as an injury prevention exercise.
Power Snatches teach you how to absorb forces
I have outlined how the Power Snatches train the triple extension.
When the triple extension is completed and you catch the weight over your head, you need to decelerate the weight that is coming down onto you.
This is called eccentric control, decelerating and controlling the weight on the way down.
If we look at sports, where the athlete has to jump, run or change direction, seldom the athlete gets injured when he or she jumps or accelerates, most of the times the athlete gets injured, when landing from a jump or decelerating.
The Power Snatch has the potential to teach and improve the deceleration mechanism and ultimately reduce these injuries.
Concluding Why Power Snatches Are Important For Athletes
If Power Snatches are executed correctly, Power Snatches are one of the best exercises for athletes to improve their performance and reduce injuries.
The Power Snatches is one of the best ways to improve Power, will improve an athlete’s performance in running, jumping, kicking, hitting, throwing or changing direction and has the potential to reduce or prevent injuries as it strengthens the shoulder and core and teaches you how to absorb forces more effectively.
More Power Snatch information
The Importance of Power Snatches
The Ultimate Guide to Power Snatches
How to do a Power Snatch
How many days a week should I Power Snatch
Why Power Snatches?
What Are Power Snatches?
How much should I Power Snatch
What Power Snatches Train
How Much Should I Power Snatch For My Weight?
How often should I do Power Snatches
or the Power Snatch video library