Friday, January 25, 2008

Ultimate Sandbag: The power snatch

I've been working on the power snatch with my 80 lb. Ultimate Sandbag. A squat snatch is ill-advised, since with a barbell and a very wide grip the squat snatch requires a high degree of shoulder, back, and hip flexibility. The much narrower grip on the sandbag demands way more flexibility in a squat snatch than I (and I imagine most) can muster.

Here's what I do: grasp the seams at the ends of the bags (so your grip is parallel to your feet, 90 degrees to the barbell snatch grasp). Then, power snatch. Catching the bag is most of the trouble, and I try to "flip" the bag on top of my hands, sort of similar to the flip in a kettlebell snatch. I've had 3 outcomes:

  1. The bag ends up hanging from your grasp since I didn't flip it hard enough. This is ok, it's an extra load on the grip which is good if you're working that.
  2. I time the flip just right and catch the weight on top of my hands, easily supporting the weight. This is usually what I go for.
  3. I overshoot the flip, the bag ends up in a controlled fall onto the back of my shoulders. Another option would be to bail, drop the bag, and step aside. However, nearby co-workers in their office would not appreciate my dropping an 80 lb. bag from, oh, 7 feet in the air onto the metal ramp on the loading dock where I workout. So I catch it, and make myself feel better by doing a squat.

It's a fun exercise. It's a little too technical to drive to very high reps like the kettlebell snatch, but it can certainly be worked longer than the barbell snatch can. The squishy sandbag is pretty forgiving of my crappy technique. In the future I'll try a split snatch.

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