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Skill Transfer Exercises for the Snatch
(continued...)perform these exercises correctly. Mike is the currentU.S. Pan American Games coach, and Sage is a nationallycompeting junior champion.The three exercises are known as the pressing snatchbalance, the heaving snatch balance, and the snatchbalance. Each essentially demands successively greaterdynamics and athleticism to reach, hold, and controlthe catch position of the snatch—which is, in fact, thebottom of the overhead squat.Each of the three snatch balance exercises begins withthe bar in a racked position on the upper back, as forthe back squat. Starting with bar on the back, ratherthan in the front rack position, gives the athlete greatercontrol and easier access to a line of action that is trulyupward and not derivative.Each exercise begins from standing,bar on the back, with a snatchgrip. In the pressing snatch balancethe athlete slowly lowers the hipsinto a squat while simultaneouslyextending the arms to press thebar overhead. In the heaving snatchbalance the athlete executes a veryshort and powerful “dip and drive”to initiate the movement (bendingbriefly at the knees and hip andthen powerfully extending to drivethe bar upward) and then comes torest at the bottom of the overheadsquat.Both the pressing snatch balance and the heaving snatchbalance begin and end with the feet slightly wider thanshoulder width, the same as in the catching stance of the clean and the snatch, which is also the squattingstance of the rock-bottom overhead squat.The snatch balance, in contrast, begins in a narrowerstance, with feet directly under the hips—the pullingstance that is the starting position for the clean and thesnatch (what Coach Burgener often calls the “jumpingstance”). The snatch balance requires the athlete toinitiate the movement with a strong dip and drive, thendive under the bar and move the feet to land in theslightly wider catching stance with the bar overhead—allexplosively and in an instant.