Building the Rotational Snatch

Posted: November 9, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

This past weekend, we had the honor and privilege of not only hosting, but teaching the DVRT Level I and II Certification combo. I had taught a workshop and asssisted at a few certifications but this was my first solo certification and it was an amazing experience all around. Attendees loved it and I had an absolute blast teaching it. Stay tuned for either the end of the week or next week when I write up some thoughts on it.

For now I want to talk about one of the most advanced DVRT exercises, the Ultimate Sandbag Rotational Snatch. It is a humbling exercise for a lot of people and rightfully so, it is definitely at end of the progression spectrum and very okay if people never progress to doing it. I was the demo example for the Rotational Snatch when I assisted Josh Henkin at the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Providence and obviously demonstrated it this past weekend as well and it is definitely an exercise that takes some fine tuning and some practice, so we usually get a lot of questions about how to perform it or build up to it.

PB Prov Snatch

In building up to it, we have to lay the foundation and own all of the progressions leading up to it. It is a complicated exercise that has a lot of depth to it.

People love to gravitate toward the “sexy” exercise, because well, it’s sexy but the most important aspect when it comes to training and getting the results you are looking for is that the best exercise option for you, is the one that meets you at your ability level and you can perform correctly and efficiently, not the advanced exercise you don’t perform well. I personally dont do a whole lot of these, my shoulders and upper back much prefer clean variations over snatch variations. The reality is the USB Snatch and Rotational Snatch may never be for you and that is completely okay, but for those who it may be for and those who want to build up to it, we have you covered.

I’ve broken it down into two tiers, one is the traditional snatch tier and two is the rotational tier, which we have a video for below. You don’t have to be able to complete tier one to move onto tier two, you can train them concurrently and I’ll break down how at the end.

The first tier that isn’t in the video below is that you have to own the sagittal plane or front to back/straight up and down progression…

The Ultimate Sandbag Deadlift
The Ultimate Sandbag Snatch Grip High Pull
The Ultimate Sandbag Snatch

But being able to perform the movements traditionally doesn’t necessarily mean you can automatically do it rotationally, that is where tier two comes in. I don’t think people spend enough time owning rotation at each step, so I want to break each one down a little bit…

(Side note – I just now realized I say the word “complexed” at the end of the video. I sincerely apologize for the poor grammar 🙂 )

First, the Rotational Pressout. This teaches your core how to stabilize a moving lever as well as stabilize over rotating hips. This is important because the rotation does not come from the trunk, it is a stable plank over pivoting or rotating hips.

The Rotational Overhead Press takes it one step further. Now we can challenge the core from a more disadvantaged lever while challenging the upper body and arms to stabilize over the rotating hips as well.

The Rotational Deadlift ties in the same principle as the Rotational Press, except now the upper body is loaded and the core and arms as well have to stabilize as the hips are moving.

Once those three are mastered, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training principles tell us we can progress the exercise through speed of the implement – enter the Rotational Clean. This is the end goal of the progression for a lot of people and that is okay, it is a great one.

All the benefits of the Rotational Deadlift, with not only a dynamic component, but the anti-rotation of the core required at the top to decelerate is incredible and a stimulus that is hard to mimic. Your core has to fire incredibly to prevent simply ‘spinning away’ with the Ultimate Sandbag.

This one one of the reasons we spend a lot of time building rotational strength prior. The other primary reason being having the ability to not rotate through the core but rotate through the hips. Two aspects that need practice.

Once that is mastered, the last step is to switch to the snatch handles and use all the same principles of the Rotational Clean, except bringing the USB overhead. When we’ve mastered the pre-requisites, this step is a lot more natural.

A quick breakdown…

Master the Ultimate Sandbag Deadlift and Rotational Pressout then progress to the Rotational Overhead Press.

Master the Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Deadlift and the Snatch Grip High Pull.

Master the Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Clean and the traditional Snatch.

Finish with the Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Snatch – safely and effectively.

For more information on not only the only DVRT Cerfified Facility in Erie but the only facility in Erie that teaches certifications to other fitness professionals, feel free to contact me HERE.

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