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Back It Up Big Time!

Back It Up Big Time!

Small changes often mark the inception of dramatic development. Read a bit more and you'll find your brain to be a most interesting part of your anatomy. Condition a tad more and you'll be amazed at the lifting volume you can tolerate.

Try the snatch grip and astonish yourself with new slabs of back muscle and a better conventional deadlift.

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What's a Snatch Grip?
I know what you're thinking: the snatch grip sounds like a rapidly executed MMA move that takes a gentleman from zero to unconscious in a hurry. Actually, it's nothing of the sort.

Based on the gracefully performed Olympic lift, the snatch grip is a wide hand placement on a barbell.  

How's it Done?
Hand placement is the first determinant -- how wide do you have to place your hands? The answer depends on your anatomy. Your arm length governs hand placement.

Sure, the statement above seems obvious, but in practice people often set their grip too wide or too narrow when applying a snatch grip.

To be a snatch grip Goldilocks, and find the grip that's just right, hold your arms out so they are parallel to the ground. From this position, bend your elbows to ninety degrees. Now, rotate your arms down so your hands are facing the barbell. Reach your arms straight down to the barbell. This is your proper snatch grip width.  

What's the Point? Why Use it?
What can this grip do for you? It's a fitting question for selecting any exercise. Choice is always based on the desired outcome, and our current Olympic-influenced hand clasp serves as an authoritative means to achieve two frequently desired outcomes: bigger lats and a better deadlift.

Fashioning Lat Fibers
Want someone to work hard? Make their job important. Give a muscle the means to exert effort, a job that's important, and you've given it a means to grow. A wide hand placement promotes the lats to the forefront of the deadlift chain of command. In this position, without extra lat work, the upper-body wilts and the shoulders roll forward. They have to turn on and do a good job or the body is in trouble. This important promotion, and subsequent increase in workload, tells the body that the lats require more girth.

Training Deadlift Tension
Create immense tension and your brain gives your body more neural juice . More neural yield produces more strength. It's a lovely event cascade that starts with grabbing the barbell with murderous intent.

Widening that murderous clutch into the snatch position poses a threat that the conventional grip can't posture. It's the same concept we discussed in the previous section, Make the lats important and they work harder to create tension. This tension, however, isn't unilateral in purpose. It reaches beyond hypertrophy.

The threat posed by snatch grip deadlift variations educates the lats on creating tension across various situations. When you return to conventionally gripping the bar you'll have greater tension creation skills. Create more lat tension and get more from your nervous system, achieve a better bar path, and deadlift more pounds.  

Which Deadlift Variations?
It's damn near impossible (and certainly unproductive) to employ a snatch grip while sumo stance deadlifting. Every other variation, however, is fair game.

Fair game, however, doesn't warrant an arbitrary grip and exercise selection: the right grip, the right exercise, the right time.

If you're new to snatch grip deadlifting, you're well-served to start with a rack pull. Set the bar around knee height, set your anatomy-determined grip, and create violence. It doesn't take long to get the hang of it. Soon enough you'll create violence from the floor.

Full-range snatch grip deadlifts, and deficit snatch grip deadlifts, are great for those that need greater tension during their deadlift set-up. Learn to create tension in an exaggerated bottom position and you'll be a monster when you return to conventional grip.

Sets? Reps? Miscellany?

How about some logistics.

Fastening the hands far outside the bounds of the normal grip charges the grip with an exorbitant tax. For this reason, it's best to keep your reps to five and down. As the grip wears, so wears tension. Without tautness, our snatch grip efforts are for naught.

Light, tight and fast snatch grip sets are great preceding conventional deadlift sets; consider them the primer button that sets your nervous system to high output and prepares your pulling muscles for heavy lifting. But this versatile grip also produces when applied to auxiliary deadlift training.

Snatch grip RDLs hammer the entire posterior chain while training superior stiffness and pulling strength. Place them in the stead of your other first level deadlift assistance exercise and you've done yourself a solid.

A Gripping Conclusion
It's amazing what production comes with moving the hands a few inches; small changes stimulate amazing results. Gap your hands a bit wider on the barbell and incite a riot of deadlift gains and back growth.

[Editor's Note: The deadlift is a short-burst, low-rep routine. As such, it requires high energy and maximum focus. Try these supplementation strategies before you hit the floor:

BioQuest AndroFury: Nothing beats the enormous surge of energy you feel when you power up with a dose of AndroFury 30 minutes before your workout. That's AndroFury's elite complex of performance maximizers at work. And AndroFury's state-of-the-art T-boosting key ingredient is aggression personified!

Mega BCAA: The deadlift is all about size. Make sure you keep those gains post-workout with a good dose of the ultimate recovery agent, Mega BCAA.]

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