Lifting and find yourself ready for the off season? This is our list of top drills for lifters in the off season!
Drill #1 Snatch press (behind the neck)
This is a great drill for mobility of the hips and back, not to mention shoulder stability and strength!
Place a bar behind your neck, slide your hands to approximate snatch grip, then squat ass to grass. Take a deep breath, stabilize your shoulder blades against your back and drive that bar straight up in a overhead press. Pause at the top and bring it down with control.
You won’t believe how hard the beginning and ending of this movement is! We Love working this in a deep squat position, but the scale would be for those who just cannot hold a 90 degree or deeper squat position. To scale, simply remain standing to perform the movement. Remember to contract the core and set your shoulder blades flat against your back (retraction).
barbell snatch press drill for lifters
Drill #2 Seated box jumps
I love this one because it eliminates the momentum part of a jump. Place a bench about 30”-36” away from your box. Have a seat… then explode off your tushy onto- or over- the box. This is a great drill for all lifters in the off season as it gives you a chance to do a plyometric that actually can help with explosiveness. It also eliminates the fatiguing effect of actual lifting, which we know is the best explosive training in itself.
Drill #3 Muscle Snatch
Why muscle snatch? It’s slow and doesn’t really help with technique at all… We actually recommend this as one of our top drills for lifters who need a bit of a break from the lifts. It’s so much more difficult than an actual snatch that it forces the athlete to use lighter weights – usually working up to between 50 and 65% of max snatch weight. One of the best improvements is just raw force overall. Muscle snatching every second training can help the lifter improve strength and speed off the floor. It forces the legs to work, and keeps the back in it’s position for longer, with little room for error.
Don’t forget that with a muscle snatch, the bar never touches the hips or thighs. Don’t confuse muscle snatch with a power snatch, either. Feet should stay glued in place, there is no jumping, and the bar can be pressed out into full extension!
Drill #4 Box snatch +OH Squat drill
Many lifters use box snatch during regular training, but we prefer keeping it to the off season. This drill is for speed work and improving the “catch” or bottom position of your lifts. Stability and strength in the shoulders is so key when dealing with fatigue!
Set yourself or the athlete up on a box to bring barbell height to approximately mid-thigh. This cuts all the leg work out of your snatch. Set your legs, hips and back into the exact same position you would be on an actual snatch with the bar at mid-thigh; chest and shoulders over the bar, and the bar pulled in to contact the thighs.
We turn the accessory movement into a drill by adding 1 or 2 reps of overhead squats to the snatch, working the overhead position to improve core control and lockout.
The progression will look something like:
1 box snatch + 2 overhead squats x 3 sets
1 box snatch + 1 overhead squat x 3 sets
!Note!* If you over-use this drill, you will find that you can actually do more than your snatch! If this is true for you, speed and catch are not your weakness, and work on the following drill…
Drills #5 Deficit Pulls
We love deficit pulls to work strength of the legs and back in the correct technical position. Like a typical snatch pull or clean pull, you’ll be pulling off the floor. Without being concerned about speed and shrugging, add a little extra range of motion to the pull by placing a low plate or mat under your feet. 1″- 1.5″ under your feet changes the entire start position of the pull.
With a lower start position, your back and legs are forced to improve strength in a range they typically never work with your barbell in standard sized lifting plates. Practicing this position will allow you to pull with more force and stability off the floor for both lifts. Keeping with sets of 3reps is a great range to improve strength without making big volume and mass changes in your muscle – this is particularly important for those in tight weight classes!
Remember to always work technique before getting sloppy and to rarely train to complete failure/ complete fatigue.