Muscle snatch any good for martial artists?

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by Abraiz, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Abraiz

    Abraiz Double-Digit Post Count

    Does the muscle snatch have benefits for those who dabble in strength training and martial arts? I have never done any Olympic lifting. This seems to be a sort of middle ground. Any and all views are welcome.

  2. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    Pavel wrote something in "Enter the Kettlebell" that has stuck with me and I agree with completely. To paraphrase, he wrote that unless you are an elite level athlete training with an elite level coach who programs everything you do for every minute of the day, stop worrying about sport-specific strength training. If your sport requires strength, get strong. Strength is a general adaptation. Once you get strong, you can practice using your additional strength by practicing your sport. The answer to your question can be found in this little flow chart:

    Does your sport require strength? Put another way, do you want to get stronger for your sport?

    If yes. . .

    Do exercises that have proven beneficial for gaining strength. Here are those exercises:

    Squat, press, bench press, deadlift, Olympic lifts and their variations.

    The muscle snatch is a variation of an Olympic lift. It is an excellent lift because as you mentioned, it is a hybrid. You use your lower body in an explosive manner to get the bar to a certain height, then you use your upper body muscles to muscle it up the rest of the way. It is also easier to learn then the full snatch or even power snatch.

    So, do you want to get strong? If yes, then the muscle snatch is a lift that will get you there. Is it specific to martial arts? The question is irrelevant.
    kbell12 and The Nail like this.
  3. MattM

    MattM SFG1 Certified Instructor

    Oddly I tried muscle snatches for the first time yesterday. No oly lifting background. I really like them and will keep at it.
  4. Steve W.

    Steve W. Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    I recall seeing Pavel recommend a clean grip snatch without any knee dip or squat-under (basically a clean grip muscle snatch) as a good general exercise for many athletes.
  5. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Muscle and Long Pull variations are a technical drill for speed and strength in the third pull and turnover. The weights used are not sufficient for a power exercise.

    If you are interested in the competition lifts it best to start with classic technique rather than have to relearn the sequencing of a proper pull.

    Just Snatch or Clean.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
    Shahaf Levin likes this.
  6. Marlon Leon

    Marlon Leon Triple-Digit Post Count

    Better power snatch from the hang. Not going around the kneee makes the lift a lot easier and in a power snatch you catch thr bar high. With some teaching this can be learned very fast and is great dor power development. Pulls are also great for anyone who doesn't want to focus on Olympic weightlifting but get more explosive strength. Again from the hang is much easier to do correctly. Use straps.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  7. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    I would disagree. While the weight used in a muscle snatch will definitely be lighter than in a full snatch and power snatch, the bar needs to be pulled higher just to give the upper body the chance to muscle the weight the rest of the way. So I would say that the power output will be similar to a power snatch. I would say that a muscle snatch is analogous to a hardstyle swing where the goal is to swing a lighter weight in a manner that provides the benefits of using a heavier weight swung in a non-hardstyle manner.
  8. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Most beginners Power Snatch will probably be some mutant version of a Muscle or Long Pull anyway. So call it a Muscle Snatch if you want but most likely it will not be technically or purposefully an Muscle Snatch. More over if you are a novice arm puller your Snatch and Muscle will be similar weights anyway.

    @MikeTheBear You can disagree, but Muscles are technical and not for a novice. I would compare it to a KB high pull to improve your KB Snatch.

    @Abraiz If you do use it perform it properly
    Muscle Snatch Exercise Demo Video and Info
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    Cheeky_monkey likes this.
  9. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    @Geoff Chafe My disagreement was that the weights are not sufficient for a power exercise. As you mentioned, most beginners will use some mutant version of a power snatch/muscle snatch. The weights used may be lighter but the pull is longer, so power generation needs to be pretty high to be able to muscle it up.

    I agree that technique is important even in the muscle snatch. This becomes even more important if a trainee is using the muscle snatch to actually improve the snatch. Lots of bad habits can be picked up from bad muscle snatch technique.
  10. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    This 110 kg muscle snatch is very impressive but it may be on the border of a muscle snatch that will actually improve a snatch. He really presses out the top portion which, for a less experience lifter, could result in some bad habits. But this is Lü Xiaojun. He can do whatever the heck he wants.

  11. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    I've found lots of moves to help my martial arts. I mainly do judo but have competed in BJJ and MMA as well, and done years of fencing and kendo, and also some serious Karate training.

    In my not so humble opinion, the number one overall best move is the military press. It's just one move though. You need more than just one move. Pair it with deadlifts. If your training schedule isn't too brutal then try fitting a few days of S&S in there for the ripping strength of 1h kettlebell swings and the all round endurance strength of Turkish Get Ups.

    Certainly any kind of clean is good. Anything and everything is good!
  12. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    It boils down to this:

    Once again I will post my flow chart:

    Do you want to get stronger for your sport?

    If yes. . .

    Do exercises that have proven beneficial for gaining strength. Here are those exercises:

    Squat, press, bench press, deadlift, Olympic lifts and their variations (I would include kettlebell exercises as Olympic lift variations).

    You should neither worry about nor waste your time trying to design a "sport specific" strength training program.
    Shahaf Levin, Kozushi and jca17 like this.
  13. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    No exceptions Mike...?
  14. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    I do the following from your list:
    press - military press with 32kg kettlebell
    deadlift - 330lbs deadlifts for a few reps at a time
    bench press - ring dips? Do these count?
    Squat - I don't squat really although there is stuff like it in the TGU
    Olympic lifts - I don't think that swings or TGUs count for these, so no.

    Hmmm... I've read lots of negative stuff about squats in Pavel's books. Of course they are excellent, but... he makes some good points about their usefulness I think. The legs get developed through the deadifts - a bit differently than with squats, but still not in a bad way, and it's linked with the upper body for big pulling motions.

    My real "strength" moves are only two - the deadlift and the kettlebell press. The ring dips are not heavy enough to count, nor the kettlebell swings. I kind of fit TGUs into more "conditioning" than pure strength. I'm hardly a pro or high achiever in fitness, however. I think I fit into the "average guy trying to stay fit in the most efficient way" category.
  15. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    Sure, reasonable substitutions are fine. My list is more of a list of bang for your buck exercises. There is no need to do all of them. For instance, I don't bench press much. And the list doesn't include back exercises such as pull ups or rows, which are important.
    offwidth likes this.
  16. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    Dips are a great movement so they count as a bench press.

    Lunge and one-legged squatting variations count as a squat.

    Swings are an explosive movement so they can be used in place of the Olympic lifts.
    Kozushi likes this.
  17. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Hi Mike,
    I get the intent of your flow chart, (and agree for the most part) but there are probably some outlier sports where a sport specific strength programme is going to deliver more bang for a persons training buck.
    I can only speak to what I know about (which admittedly isn't very much), but take something like rock climbing for example. Some of the big lifts might have some ancillary benefits, and some might detract (depending upon load and volume) from the cause. But there are some very sport specific strength training things that will pay off in spades.
    A sport such as rock climbing which is so skill - centric requires far less conventional strength than people might think. Once an individual gets to strength being a limiting factor, it tends to be very specific in nature.

    I'll come up for air, and stop rambling. Just some thoughts ....

  18. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Great quote.
  19. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Okay, so what I do seems to fit the parameters. :) Good!

    Interesting perhaps that my instincts on this stuff led me to the same conclusions.

    Maybe I could break them down like this:

    Big pull (includes legs):
    Fast speed / light weight - swings
    Medium speed / heavy weight- deadlifts

    Big push (includes legs):
    Slow, almost isometric / heavy weight - TGU

    Little push:
    Medium speed / heavy weight - presses
    Slow, almost isometric / medium weight (own bodyweight) - ring dips

    It looks a bit sloppy, but the idea is that I can lift heavy and slow but also have conditioning endurance with a hard pumping heart (here, just the swings really qualify for the heart pump) - so, muscle and cardio. Also, another idea is to be able to lift other things in my environment (deadlifts, presses), but also to be able to lift myself (ring dips), and also BOTH myself and a weight at the same time (TGUs). There are holes in it - no pullups, so no bodyweight pulling up, no heart pumping pushing like plyometric jump squats, but I DO walk often, and jog, so maybe these qualify for cardio "pushing". In terms of directionality, I think I'm hitting every direction, but with a definite bias towards straight up and down, however with some chinks in the armour filled in with TGUs and swings that get out of the direct up and down planes of movement. The heart pumping exercise of swings is SO CRITICAL I think. Forget strength if your heart fails. Forget it completely!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 10:34 PM
  20. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Helping Make Others Stronger

    Question might just be how many of us are at that level. I know personally, I'm not currently competitive enough in any of my endeavors that specific strength deficits are preventing me from progressing - so best to work the basics.

    But I'd agree completely that elite athletes need to sweat the details of their programming.
    Steve Freides and offwidth like this.

Share This Page