How can I increase my shoulder range of motion during the snatch?

Increasing your range of motion during the snatch is a matter of increasing the flexibility in your lats, chest and thoracic spine. This can be done by performing static, corrective and dynamic stretches of these areas. It would also be beneficial to perform daily overhead squats using a broom stick. Continue stretching and increasing your ROM until you can perform a deep overhead squat while keeping the stick inline with the mid-line of your body.

Make sure that your workout has plenty of overhead pressing exercises to help with ROM and strength in the snatch. If, during any overhead pressing exercise, the barbell or dumbbells translate forward, continue focusing on flexibility and use only light weights until you can maintain proper position. 

Eric Beard
Sports Medicine

To improve your shoulder range of motion for snatches the following areas should be stretched; pectorals, lats, levator scapulae and the posterior capsule of your shoulder. Using a foam roll or self massage technique before stretching can increase the effectiveness of your stretches. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds for 2-3 sets on either side of the body. It is important that you develop symmetrical ranges of motion when using a barbell over head. Lack of symmetrical range of motion can lead to injury even throughout the rest of the body.

Once passive range of motion has been developed the equal amount of shoulder stability and strength most be used to control that range of motion. Shoulder stability work can include 3-5 exercises performed for 10-15 reps slowly 3 times per week.  Range of motion without control of that range of motion is as dangerous of lack of range of motion.

Work on increasing range of motion by foam rolling your shoulders and upper back holding tender spots for 30 seconds before and after workouts. Then statically stretch your shoulders and back by positioning yourself on all fours with one arm on a stability ball. Reach that arm out as far as you can by rolling the ball forward and hold that stretch for 30 seconds. Then perform a dynamic movement such as medicine ball flexion and extension. Hold a medicine ball, bend forward and reach the medicine ball between your legs. Then stand back up and reach the medicine ball up over your head reach back behind you. Repeat 10 times.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.