Fix A Slow Squat Under The Snatch

If you find yourself unable to fluidly sit into a deep squat when you snatch, here’s what to do about it.
There are 2 primary things that prevent an immediate squat: improper balance or positioning, or a lack of confidence in a deep receiving position.
In order to squat quickly and fluidly into the bottom when receiving a snatch, you need to be balanced and correctly positioned immediately when you lock out overhead—if you’re not, you have to stop and adjust before you’re able to continue.
Most often, it’s going to be because your balance is too far forward—there are a lot of possible causes for imbalance, so you’ll need to diagnose your particular errors to correct them.
The most common positioning problem is failing to bring the hips from their fully extended position back into a squatting position quickly enough. This again forces a pause to adjust before you’re able to continue squatting.
You can practice the retraction of the hips into a quick squat with tall snatches and high-hang snatches.
To work on a lack of confidence, start with the basics: building strength, stability and comfort in a deep receiving position with heavy overhead squats and then heavy snatch balances. The key with the snatch balances is moving down quickly and receiving as low as possible rather than driving the bar high and overhead squatting. This gives you the basic confidence in your ability to get deep under and support big weights.
Next work on building aggression and commitment to a complete pull under the bar. Start with tall snatches for mechanics, speed and precision. Then move to high-hang or high-block snatches. These will allow you to simulate having to pull deeper under heavy weights by limiting how much you can elevate the bar, but without the actual heavy weights to induce the associated fear.
In all snatches, no matter how high you initially receive them or how much you have to adjust first, sit into the bottom and hold there for 3-5 seconds. Don’t just accept a power snatch—you need to take every opportunity to practice and get comfortable in the bottom. And until you sort this problem out, replace power snatches in your program with high-hang or high-block snatches at the same weight.
And finally, practice visualization before each snatch. This is too expansive a topic to cover completely here, but in short, mentally rehearse a successful snatch as authentically as possible—experience it from your own point of view along with all of the physical sensations, and be sure to include the emotional response of making a successful snatch.

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