6 Unbelievable Benefits of the Snatch

1. Better Core Stability

Core stability is more NB than core flexion (sit-ups and crunches). The more stable the core is, the more efficient you are and the more solid your movements.

You’ll also be better at resisting force and flexion, so snatch proficiency – contrary to popular belief – can reduce your risk of back injuries.

2. More Motor Unit Recruitment and Kinetic Chain Synchronization

Every muscle fiber in your body is a part of a motor unit, and the central nervous system (CNS) is like the command center. The CNS can be trained, and the Olympic lifts train it to fire a maximum number of motor units in the shortest possible time.

The kinetic chain refers to a “combination of several successively arranged joints constituting a complex motor unit.” Plenty of sports encourage a kinetic chain that fires and functions well, but the wave of contraction that a lifter needs to create to perform a snatch is unparalleled in terms of how much it accomplishes in such a single movement.

3. Carryover to Sports

Because of all these benefits, particularly the way it requires athletes to generate large amounts of power at high velocities, the snatch is a staple for many sports that require powerful, full-body movements like throwing, sprinting, running and jumping.

It’s worth pointing out that given the complexity of the movement and the fact that many injuries tend to occur during the catching portion, some coaches recommend athletes just focus on the pulling portion of the lift.

4. Improved Body Composition

As far as building muscle and losing fat goes, there’s a pretty stark difference between Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters. Because the move requires so much speed and energy expenditure, the snatch can seriously jack up the metabolism and burn a lot of fat.

Because it uses so many large muscle groups, it’s an efficient exercise for providing a full-body strength workout. That means it can provide stimulus for hypertrophy, too. The hypertrophy component is a little dependent on training styles, but even weightlifters who train in the lowest of reps have serious slabs of muscle on their back and legs.

5. Better Posture

As a dynamite exercise for improving the strength, function and coordination of the posterior chain, the snatch can help you attain the posture of a military soldier: straight back, shoulders retracted, tight core, and much, much, much better back health.

6. Better Mobility and Flexibility

The snatch is the ultimate test of mobility. It challenges the range of motion of almost every body part, but in particular the ankles, shoulders, and hips more than perhaps any other exercise. A good squat and a good strict press does not necessarily translate into the perfect snatch, but a good snatch means you’ve reached some of the highest peaks of mobility. Train for the snatch, and many other movements will fall into place.

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