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  1. #1
    KBFan is offline Member
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    Default What does the Snatch do that the high pull doesn't?

    I've been kettlebelling for several years but haven't done high pulls in a good while. I felt like my snatch form was getting sloppy so I decided to add in a few sets of high pulls.

    The high pulls got my heart rate up way fast because of the the increased tempo compaired to snatches. They are also a lot less technical and easier on the hands in humid weather although that isn't a huge concern at this time of year.

    So the question is, why do snatches at all? What do they offer that high pulls doesn't offer? I could say shoulder mobility but you need to bring mobility to the exercise and not develop it in the exercise. My elbows sometimes flair up from BJJ. Swings and high pulls seem to be easier on the joints and harder on the muscles (in a good way) than snatches. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing snatches because I enjoy lifting for the sake of lifting, but from a general S&C standpoint, I am having a hard time seeing the benefits of snatches.

    Am I missing something here? Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Boris Bachmann is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I think the answer is "swings".
    Boris Bachmann
    [url]http://squatrx.blogspot.com/[/url]

  3. #3
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    The most obvious difference to me is the degree of difficulty. It feels like it takes more power to snatch the same weight as to high pull it.

    Btw, I would recommend glucosamine for your elbows. While its soft tissue building ability is yet to be proven (some studies say yes, other conclude no), its anti-inflammatory ability is pretty well proven.

  4. #4
    kbpaul is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    And, I would say it's at the top of the snatch....when you have to contract a big portion of your body.

  5. #5
    Steve Freides is offline Senior Member
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    Comrade KBFan, because you practice a demanding martial art, your goal should be to lift as little as possible to get the benefits you need. Your decision to favor high pulls instead of snatches sounds like it could be a very smart one if it turns out you don't miss the additional work the snatch provides. Please try it for a while and let us know what you think.

    If you want to find out what you're missing, try slowing down the pace of your snatches - stand in front of a clock and try this - switch right and left if you wish. Switch hands every minute and don't worry if the two sides aren't even - you can fix that next time or try 2 minutes of each instead. Use at least a 24 kg, do not put the bell down, rest in the overhead position as required by the schedule:

    1 min of 12 reps (every 5 sec)
    1 min of 10 reps (every 6 sec)
    1 min of 8 reps (2 every 15 sec)
    1 min of 6 reps (1 every 10 sec) (repeat this minute of you can several times)

    I find it's an excellent teacher of what your overhead supporting strength may lack.

    -S-
    KBNJ.COM - Steve Freides, RKC Team Leader




    -S-
    KBNJ.COM - Steve Freides, RKC Team Leader

  6. #6
    JSStevensRKC is offline Senior Member
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    Default Program Minimum

    I agree snatches are not necessary for everyone, especially if you follow the new program minimum from ETK and do your fair share of getups. There are a lot of people with shoulder issues that have no business doing snatches.

    If your BJJ training is that demanding on your shoulder strength, then getups and swings/high pulls could be just right for you.

    I prefer swings to high pulls, but that's me. Swings are even more rapidly paced then snatches.

  7. #7
    whiskey is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSStevensRKC View Post
    Swings are even more rapidly paced then snatches.
    Maybe they are but snatches are still harder. I don't think you can snatch for 20 reps what you are swinging for 20 reps.

    I consider snatches as a king of KB exercises, and sure there is something magical in picking up things over your head. You conquer the weight. I don't say that everyone must do snatches, and people with chronic shoulder issues should be careful of course.

    Still I don't think anyone can really argue of snatches being inferior exercises to either swings, high pulls or whatever
    Last edited by whiskey; 01-27-2011 at 06:49 AM.

  8. #8
    DTris is offline Senior Member
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    Snatches effect me in a different way then swings do. I haven't done many high pulls so I am not sure about those. But there is no need for something to be better than something else. They are different exercises and they work you in different ways. If they keep you injury free and make you stronger and better conditioned they are different, and neither is better IMO.

  9. #9
    danfaz is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBFan View Post
    Why do snatches at all? What do they offer that high pulls doesn't offer?
    Just from personal experience, the snatch offers more work capacity. I took a break after getting some nasty blisters last year. Did a few weeks of just swings, highpulls, and TGU's - thinking I was getting all the same conditioning. Upon returning to the snatch, I got my keister handed to me in short order! It simply conditions [me] more as a whole better than the parts.

  10. #10
    JSStevensRKC is offline Senior Member
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    Default Swings vs Snatches

    The swing and the snatch are different movements; a snatch is not simply a harder or higher version of a swing, it is different (as an excellent article by RKC II/CK-FMS Max Shank recently explained The Snatch: Not an "Advanced" Swing: A Kettlebell Training article from Dragon Door Publications).


    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
    ... but snatches are still harder.
    That's relative and depends on many factors such as your level of skill/technique, load, reps,sets etc..
    Example: 80 sets of 15:15 VWC VS 5-10 rep set of Swings with 2 32kg kettlebells. I'd consider VWC easier.


    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
    I don't think you can snatch for 20 reps what you are swinging for 20 reps.
    Agreed. However, swings and snatches are simply different techniques. Similarly I can do getups with more weight than what I can press, yet I don't consider one exercise to be superior to the other. If I did I would argue that getups are superior to presses because they help me press heavier.

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
    Still I don't think anyone can really argue of snatches being inferior exercises to either swings, high pulls or whatever
    Neither is inferior or superior to the other. But...if I were forced to choose the superiority of one over the other I would argue swings are superior to snatches because they help me snatch heavier and clients that do not first learn how to perform a proper swing should not be practicing snatches.

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