The Snatch: What This Barbell Movement Can Teach Us About Life - Holy City CrossFit

The Snatch: What This Barbell Movement Can Teach Us About Life

By Brooke Albea | CrossFit

image of woman squatting with a barbell overhead

The snatch is one of the two olympic lifts. A highly technical movement, the snatch can take years (yes, years!) to master. The objective? Get the bar from the ground to overhead in one continuous, explosive motion.

And yet - we never fully "master" anything with a barbell - there will always be something to tweak and continue to improve your skill, particularly with the snatch. And that’s the beauty of it - continuous, life long learning. It's not the destination, but the journey along the way. 

So what is the snatch, and why do we do it?  For starters, this explosive, complex barbell movement will no doubt get you strong. It starts with working major muscle groups - hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back & spinal erectors, traps, shoulders & upper back to name a few!  

Working on a snatch will develop greater core strength & stability, lat strength, explosive power, coordination,  body awareness and more. However, the benefits go beyond physical. Aside from these numerous physical benefits of performing the snatch, there are a lot of mental benefits and inner strengths that are delivered through the barbell.


Often times in life, we tend to get frustrated when we can’t seem to get things just right. The snatch teaches you that mastery takes time, practice, and patience.

There will always be small little details in the technique of this lift to improve on, even years after you first learn it.  As you continue to practice and work on the craft, you will undeniably become a more patient person both in and out of the gym.


These days, most of us always have something else on our mind when doing just about anything. The mind is constantly working, thinking about our to-do list or what's next in our day.

The world moves fast. We're texting while driving, watching YouTube videos while eating dinner, and talking on the phone while walking down the street. It's a challenge to be present in the moment and only focus on the task at hand.  

But without a doubt, you must be focused when snatching. In this highly technical lift, you can’t be thinking about anything else than getting that bar from the ground to overhead in a split second or you’ll throw yourself off and more than likely miss the lift. 

Courage & Confidence

The entire lift itself is QUICK - less than a single second quick. You have to approach the bar with confidence and a single goal in mind: Get the weight from the ground to overhead as fast as possible. 

You have to believe in yourself: commit to it, and drop under that bar - and that takes courage. 

The snatch is a great teacher of learning to believe and trust in yourself and your abilities - you are capable of more than you think. The snatch is tough, but you are tougher. 

Want to learn how to work with a barbell, but don't know where to start? We can help! Book a FREE No Sweat Intro today.

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