Having a hard time with the dumbbell snatch? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how fitness buffs of all levels can master this intense powerlifting move!
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A Step-By-Step Guide to Master the Dumbbell Snatch
What Is a Dumbbell Snatch?
The dumbbell snatch is a powerlifting move that boosts power and strength. It’s a total body workout that engages the deltoids, traps, quads, calves, abs, hamstrings, and glutes.
Apart from increasing muscular strength and size, it’s also one of the best CrossFit workouts to improve one’s cardiovascular endurance. In fact, just a few consecutive reps will leave anyone gasping for air.
When performing a snatch, remember that the key is to create a smooth flow where one uses momentum to carry the heavy dumbbell from the ground over to the top of the head.
How to Do a Dumbbell Snatch
Step 1: Do Some Whole Body Warm-Up Exercises
The dumbbell snatch is a powerlifting move that engages almost every muscle group in the body. That’s why fitness buffs need to perform a proper warm-up routine before performing this exercise.
One can start with some light stretching exercises that’ll loosen the joints. Make sure to hit every single part from the neck down to the ankles.
After that, warm the body up with some HIIT exercises. These can include full-body moves like jumping jacks, burpees, and high knees.
Step 2: Choose the Correct Dumbbell Weight
Since the dumbbell snatch is a powerlifting move, athletes can challenge themselves by using moderately heavy weights. Note that beginners should start off with something a bit light that they can comfortably lift over the top of their heads.
Only use heavier weights once the body adapts to this exercise. Prematurely using heavy dumbbells only does more harm than good.
Tip: A good weight to start off with is the weight of the dumbbell one uses for an overhead press.
Step 3: Get into Position
With the dumbbell on the ground, assume a foot stance that’s slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Next, keep the back straight and then squat down until the thighs are parallel to the floor.
Use the right hand to grab the dumbbell on the floor and leave the left hand hanging at the side. Make sure the palm is facing toward the body. This is the starting position
Step 4: Lift the Dumbbell up and Push It Overhead
Next, pull the dumbbell up toward the ceiling by pushing the body back up. Use the momentum from driving the heels through the ground to lift the dumbbell up over the head.
By this time, the right hand should be fully extended, palms facing away from the body, and body upright. This is one rep.
Step 5: Lower the Weight and Then Repeat
Carefully lower the weight down and return to the starting position. Repeat around 5 to 9 more times for a total of 6 to 10 reps and then do the same with the other arm.
Dumbbell Snatch Benefits
Here are some of the reasons why every fitness buff and gym-goer should perform this exercise regularly:
1. Easy Learning Curve
Despite being an intermediate-level exercise, the dumbbell snatch is still a lot easier to learn than other powerlifting moves. It’s simpler than barbell snatches, clean and jerks, among others.
Beginners who want to begin powerlifting should definitely add this to their list of dumbbell exercises. Once they get the hang of it, they can apply the same concept and techniques to learn more difficult moves.
2. Less Stress on the Shoulders
Unlike the dumbbell clean and jerk, a dumbbell snatch doesn’t put too much stress on the shoulders. So even those with slight shoulder joint issues might be able to bust out a few reps.
Of course, patients with shoulder problems should still consult with a medical professional. Also, make sure to perform a proper pre-workout stretching routine to avoid any injuries.
3. Improves Balance
The dumbbell snatch improves core and lower body balance. It allows powerlifters to address muscular asymmetries better than barbell snatches and dumbbell thrusters can.
After a few months of regularly performing this exercise, gym-goers might see an improvement in their lower body and core balance. Once one develops these areas, they’ll find it easier to perform most compound exercises.
4. Increases Cardiovascular Endurance
If one were training for endurance, he or she can explore higher rep and set ranges. Choose a light to moderately heavy dumbbell and then try to perform as many reps as the body can handle.
For an added challenge, athletes can try combining them with other HIIT exercises to create a superset. For example, perform 20 dumbbell snatches, 20 burpees, and 20 mountain climbers consecutively without resting.
5. Boosts Explosive Power
The dumbbell snatch is a fast-paced movement that increases one’s explosive power. The ability to move quickly from a dead stop is non-negotiable for any kind of athlete.
To supplement one’s training for explosive strength, athletes can try performing clapping push-ups, jump squats, and clean and jerks, among others.
6. Faster Reflexes
When executing a dumbbell snatch, the body’s reflexes have no choice but to react quickly and accurately. Reacting even a millisecond too late already leads to failure.
Once the body gets used to the movement, it becomes more adept at reacting instantly to external forces. It’s a vital skill for all kinds of athletes.
7. Spikes Agility
The fastest runner isn’t always the winner in every sporting competition. In fact, aside from sprinting, all sports activities require a good balance of both speed and agility.
Combine the dumbbell snatch with exercises like side steps and athletes will definitely become more agile.
Learn how to do the dumbbell snatch correctly from this video from Exercising Health:
As with any other exercise, practice makes perfect. So powerlifters who want to improve their dumbbell snatch should incorporate it into their regular workout.
If one feels they’re still not making any progress, he or she might want to try overhauling his or her fitness program. Explore other powerlifting exercises that focus on total body strength, make healthy food choices, and use gym supplements that help boost strength and power.
Do you have any tips for mastering the dumbbell snatch? Share them in the comments section below!