Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Learning the Snatch: Backward Chaining

Backward chaining, as it pertains to motor skill development, involves breaking a movement down into segments and learning the last motion of the sequence first. Once that motion has been learned, the preceeding segments are then incorporated, one by one, and drilled until the trainee has accounted for the entire chain of movement. The rationale is that the mind and body can more easily process and learn these individual parts, as opposed the entire movement at once. Also, backward chaining the snatch (as well as the clean) places emphasis on the most critical power producing movement of the entire lift: the 2nd pull.

Backward chaining is one of the foundations of the Soviet Model for teaching the lifts. A sample progression, as recommended by former national team coach Alexander Medvedyev, would run something like this:
-Power snatch from hang position above the knees
-Power snatch from hang position below the knees
-Power snatch from the floor

From there, the progression to full snatch is forward chained:
-Power snatch from the floor
-Power snatch from floor to overhead squat
-Squat snatch from floor

It is also worth noting that the Soviet Model calls for learning the snatch before the clean. A topic for future discussion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan John also recommends learning the snatch first. I think he says that since it is more technical, the clean is then a cinch to learn.