I love the dumbbell snatch. It’s one of the exercises I perform simply because enjoy it. I dig the sensation of moving the weight fast and the sting when my feet hit the floor.
Lucky for me, the dumbbell snatch translated perfectly to baseball. Picture Andrelton Simmons going from an athletic position to leaping up to, well, snatch a bullet line drive. Notice the similarities to this? I perform the move with more explosiveness than that video, in order to really get the full benefit of power and quickness.
For those of you wanting to improve your vertical leap and be like Mike, Lebron or the best version of you, a variation of the snatch can help. Olympic lifts like this one are movements that transfer force from the lower body, through the hips and out through the upper body. The snatch mimics a full body, all out leap, which is needed in a number of activities. From AZCentral:
Like most Olympic-style lifts, the overhead snatch requires an explosive burst of movement, which is the quality of doing an exercise quickly with both power and speed. This explosiveness translates to improved athletic performance for a variety of sports and activities, including football, baseball, sprinting or track and field events…This feature develops fast-twitch muscle response by requiring you to snatch the dumbbell upward with significant force and speed.
Here is how I perform the dumbbell snatch. As with all of strength and power training, I suggest 5 sets of 5 reps as a nice starting point. Remember, if you’re a beginner, advance weights slowly! I recommend working with a professional to learn form whenever new lifts are introduced.
- Grab a dumbbell with an overhand grip.
- Bend at your hips and knees to squat down until the weight is centered between your feet. Keep your arm straight.
- Drive your heels into the floor, feet slightly wider than your shoulders
- Bend your arm and raise your elbow as high as you can. You want a single movement – like you’re trying to throw the dumbbell at the ceiling. Don’t actually let go of it!
Make sure to keep the dumbbell as close to your body as possible at all times. You should be thrusting the dumbbell upward so forcefully that you rise up on your toes. The momentum of the lift should cause your forearm to rotate up and back from the momentum of the lift, so your arm is straight and your palm is facing forward. Pull your body under the weight and push your hips forward.
Now go dunk a basketball.