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The split snatch was the traditional form of the snatch until the 1950s and 1960s when the squat style now used today began to take over. Its primary use now is by masters lifters with limited mobility or injuries.
The split snatch is performed in the same way as the squat snatch
, but rather than moving under the barbell into a squat receiving position, the athlete moves under in a split position. Unless an athlete is practiced in this movement, a very deep split is unlikely because of the required flexibility and foot speed.
The primary modern use of the split snatch is to make snatching possible for masters lifters or those otherwise limited in their overhead mobility due to inflexibility or injuries. However, the lift can also be used as a way to include more split footwork training for the jerk without adding additional exercises—for example, a lifter who needs split practice may perform split snatches where another athlete would perform power snatches, thereby addressing both purposes with a single exercise.
If the split snatch is the main snatch variation used by the athlete, the programming for the lift is the same as for the squat snatch
. It can also be used in a similar manner as the power snatch
as a less taxing snatch variation for lighter training days, or as a split footwork technique exercise. In the latter case, sets of 1-3 reps are recommended.