Because it makes you awesome, that’s why.
Okay, so maybe this necessitates a bit more reasoning...
One of the most primitive movements known to man is to take an object from the ground to the shoulders or higher. This is an essential task that has been lost with the progress of civilization. While still common in less developed cultures, hoisting objects above the head or onto the shoulder is much less common in those cultures more civilized. Instead, we utilize easier forms of object transportation such as a dolly, wheelbarrow, or someone younger.
This may be a prime example of increased efficiency due to human progress, but I believe it is more so reason that we are becoming physically weaker and less fit for the necessary tasks of life. Back and other joint injuries tend to be the reason people may not lift something off the ground, and understandably so. However, I believe the problem is our lack of fitness, rooted in the tradeoff we’ve made with technology to make our physical labor easier and subsequently confounded by the misinformation in the industry about what it means to be fit.
Balance is the ability to evenly distribute one’s weight around their center of gravity, despite any simultaneous movement. Coordination is the ability to organize the different parts of the body so as to enable them to function correctly and efficiently. These two qualities contribute to a person’s kinesthesia, which, simply put is one’s awareness of their body parts in space due to sensory input in their muscles and joints. Both institute musculoskeletal changes that allow the body to work more like an accord of chains and links and less like a series of unrelated units
There are multiple variations of this lift, using several different implements. The most common is done with a barbell, and is one of the two competition lifts for the sport of weightlifting. However, dumbbells, kettlebells, and sandbags are among great alternatives, and in many cases, preferable. If your goal has anything to do with becoming fit, whether it is general or specific, I believe the snatch is one of the most important movements you can learn and perfect. This, of course, is assuming you have no pain or injuries relative to the movement (as a side note, I also believe the snatch can play an important role in gaining functionality after rehab following an injury).
Watching the snatch performed may be intimidating at first, but the best way to begin learning is to start with the overhead squat. Work to squat deeper over time, progressing into the hang snatch, then the power snatch, and lastly the full snatch.
*Understand that I highly recommend grabbing a coach, friend, or even a stranger who knows how to snatch and have them teach you. This is many times over the better choice instead of trying to figure it out on your own.
So what I’m really saying is that no matter who you are, if you don’t encounter any pain or have previous injury, go snatch. And if you are injured, get better and go snatch. And once you learn how to proficiently snatch, share the love and teach others.
Follow Doug on Twitter!