If you have experience with figure skating or have been watching the Winter Olympics, you’ll know the sport requires explosive power combined with the agility to land gracefully. This means when training, a skater must utilize exercises that mimic the rapid acceleration and deceleration of program jumps.
The Dumbbell Split Snatch is a great tool to develop power and landing position for skaters. To perform a Dumbbell Split Snatch, start by holding a single dumbbell with an overhand grip and a slight bend in the knees. Hinge forward at your hips, bringing the dumbbell to knee level before hinging back up, jumping explosively and landing in a lunge position with the dumbbell overhead.
To add layers of difficulty to this exercise, you can add Walking Overhead Lunges at the top of the movement. You also can start the movement on a single leg.
When performing the Dumbbell Split Snatch, make sure you have the appropriate dumbbells, floor surface and space to drop the weight safely if needed (you will need to drop the weight at times). A good gauge of having impressive explosive power is being able to complete 3-5 reps using a third of your body weight.
Although this exercise is especially useful for figure skaters, it also translates quite well to any sport where explosive movement followed by rapid deceleration is important for performance. Think of a running back hurdling a defender before continuing to sprint downfield, or a forward grabbing a rebound before going back up to the rim or starting the fast break.
Here’s a potential progression program you can utilize with the Dumbbell Split Snatch.
- Week 1: Stay with a light weight for 3 sets of 5 reps each side.
- Week 2: Increase 5 pounds from last week, 3 sets of 5 reps each side.
- Week 3: Take your time working up in sets of 3 each side until you reach the heaviest weight you can do.
- Week 4: 80% of your 3-rep max for 4 sets of 5 reps each side.
- Week 5: 90% of your 3 -ep max for 4 sets of 3 reps each side.
- Week 6: Try to beat your Week 3 max!