Skill Transfer Exercises for the Snatch

Alright, two drills to enhance skills that we use in our courses and at Mike’s Gym, first one, obviously, is the Burgener warm-up, which we do daily. The second drill to enhance skills
that we do daily are the skill transfer exercises for the
snatch. The first exercise is the snatch push
press—now this is very important— if you’ll turn around, I’m gonna ask Jason to turn around, I’m gonna ask him to show where the bar is placed high on the traps. We are not doing low-bar
back exercises we’re doing high-bar back exercises
because the Olympic lifts is the vertical position. So I’m going to ask him to turn around,
and then simply we’re gonna just continue on with the an exercise like
we’ve already taught— the down and finish, but now we don’t
have to finish so we’re just going to call it the down and up. This is called the
snatch push press. Watch and listen to what he says. And
down and up. Student: Overhead strength. and reset, down and up. Student: Overhead strength. Reset, and down and up. Student: Overhead strength. And while he’s up there, he’s going to move his feet out into a landing position. Now we’re gonna work that overhead squat. Right from there, we don’t sit back on the overhead squat,
he’s just going to drive his knees straight down. And squat. Student: Core development. And he stays down there for a little bit and we talk core development. This is why we usually overhead squat. This gives me a great opportunity to
look from the side to make sure the bar is lined up within that area of the base. He
stands, and squat. Student: Core development. and stand, one more time, and he squats, Student: Core development. And he stands. He keeps the bar on his back, now he lowers it down, he keeps his feet where they are located,
and we really want to start working the speed of the hands. You’ll hear me coaching several times, “I
need fast hands, I need fast hands.” This exercise is called the heaving
snatch balance. The purpose of it is fast hands. Listen
to what he says. His feet are in a perfect position, this
is where he’s going to be receiving the bar, but the focus here is to give a little
dip, a drive and then he’ll drive his body down with fast hands. Ready and go. Student: Fast hands. And stand, reset. And go. Student: Fast hands. Stand, reset. And go. Student: Fast hands. And he stays right there. Again, that gives me an opportunity to look at where his positioning is. The bar is within the area of the base,
he’s solid in this position and I ask him
to stand. He puts the bar on his back, now I’m gonna move his feet back into that jumping, pulling, pressing, jerking position, and
now we’re gonna do snatch balances without a dip—this is a very tough exercise but it works fast feet and it
works fast hands. Listen to what he says. And, go! Student: Fast hands, fast feet. And, stand. It’s very important that he yells this out because he needs to know why he is doing the exercise. And, go! Student: Fast hands, fast feet. And, stand and reset. And, go! Student: Fast hands, fast feet. And, reset. Now the snatch balance without a
dip, you’re not going to be able to use very
much weight, but it really teaches the athlete to drive his body down. With his hands, as he’s pulling his body
down and around the bar, he’s pushing his body down, he’s moving his feet out into that great
landing position. The final exercise is snatch balance with a dip. Now here I can really load the bar up. I’m gonna have him dip, I’m
going to have him drive, and he’s going to land into that overhead-squat position. This is my go-to exercise if I have an athlete that’s not moving fast, they’re not driving
their body down fast, this is my go-to exercise to get them to
feel the speed that they need. So this is snatch balance with a dip. And ready, and go! Student: Fast hands, fast feet. And stand and reset. And, go! Student: Fast hands, fast feet. Stand and reset. And, go! Student: Fast hands, fast feet. And stand. And reset. So, what do we have here?
We have the Burgener warm-up— that’s a drill, five exercises to enhance
skill— we have those skill transfer exercises
for the snatch— they’re drills to enhance skills—now I
have 10 tools in my toolbox that I can give
my athlete after I’ve identified a weakness. I can
give those separately, but if I do them daily and they do them correctly, that gives them the mindset of putting it
all together for the final snatch.


  1. So glad I watched this. There is a difference in sitting back in a squat and driving your knees down like he showed us. This totally just blew my mind and helped me understand what my body should be doing. Thanks!!

  2. such good OHS mobility

  3. 3:21

  4. Nice video 😉

  5. That's the problem I had with the overhead squat. I was taught to go butt back first like a regular back squat but I notice the difference in this.

  6. A lot of technic for the snatch… Awesome!

  7. "Overhead strength" Don't hit me "Overhead strength" Please, don't hit me "Overhead strength" Dad, please 🙁

  8. First, thanks for your time and help! A very interesting, important, and controversial question is: will the olympic style lifts build speed/power in specific sports? That is, does the O-Lifts have real dynamic correspondence to sport specific movements? By sport specific movements I mean things like bag work for boxing, throwing a baseball, shooting a basketball, drilling a wrestling move, etc. I think this topic seriously merits its own video. Please do one. It is my opinion that PL can provide a foundation of overall strength that one can combine with sport specific movement training to build speed and power in the exact movements of the sport. That is, you're better learning to express your strength in the most direct way possible, the specific movements, not the O-Lifts. Power, on a neurological level, is a specific skill, one enhanced through specific practice. And the only training that develops the raw material that can be molded for this specific practice is PL training. To be fast, you must practice the activity at which you want to be fast. Lifting fast or explosively has very little to do with how fast you Punch, kick, run, jump. Any performance transfer that does occur from the Olympic lift variations is due to the strength gains achieved from lifting heavy loads, not enhanced rate-of-force development. Therefore, the O-Lifts are not necessary and in fact do not have a dynamic correspondence of speed/power to sports. When you address your baseline strength with PL and address your ability to express that strength (speed/power) in the specific sports movements, what are cleans and snatchs going to give you that you’re not already getting? (some quotes from Eric Minor article included)

  9. I'm hoping this drill will help. my biggest issue is mobility
    Work in progress.

  10. Crossfit Logo: Why be good at one thing when you can be mediocre at everything…

  11. What is the difference between heaving snatch balance vs snatch balance with a dip?

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