One of the most interesting parts of reviewing the new Snatch Shorts was researching the controversy over whether we should slam the bar on our hips or not. Some coaches teach the snatch as an explosive hip hinge movement where the bar will smack the hips.
For example, in the video below Jon North teaches a drill on smacking the hips with the bar. His example is quite extreme, but others, such as Dan John, also teach the snatch as an explosive hip hinge, where the bar will have an opportunity to smack the bar.
Other Olympic weightlifting coaches, like Greg Everett, call smacking into the hips a fault that will drive the bar too far forward. Danny Carmago teaches an explosive upward jump rather than a hip hinge. The bar will travel around the knees, then the knees dip back forward a bit as the person then attempts a straight vertical jump. The hip hinge is important, but it gets blunted as more power comes from the thighs right before the jump. Thus, the bar contacts the hip, but doesn’t smash into it.
This controversy may not be as big as the CrossFit swing versus the Russian StongFirst swing or the sumo deadlift high pull. However, the discussion boards have many heated arguments on this topic.
As for the Snatch Shorts, they do seem to provide a great deal of protection for that area. I am not a hip smasher, but I attempted to do a lot of the hip smashing drills to see what damage I could do (or hopefully not do). I do a lot of kettlebell swings, so I just thought of the snatch as an explosive kettlebell swing movement for purpose of the review. Overall, the shorts did provide a level of protection that might make a hip smasher more comfortable.
Actually, these shorts can protect women too, since slamming the hip bone will probably hurt everyone (it is not just for man parts).
The shorts also serve as compression shorts. I usually prefer a little longer inseam in my compression shorts, but these felt comfortable. The price is also similar to other compression shorts.
I usually wear compression shorts with loose shorts over the top. I could still wear loose shorts over the Snatch Shorts without it being noticeable or awkward. If you are wearing them without shorts, they have a nice design feature, which says Snatch Shorts in big bold white letters on the front, so no one can mistake your purpose when you wear the shorts.
So let’s get to the elephant in the (front of the) room: the look of the shorts. There is a good amount of padding in the front. Before trying them on, I felt a little like I would look like White Goodman from Dodgeball. My biggest surprise was that the padding is pretty evenly spread over a large area. Thus, it feels more like wearing thicker clothes than having a bigger bulge (might I say that it evenly blurs the bulge across the front of the shorts).
All in all, the embarrassment factor was much less than expected (and all the original puns I thought about inserting into this review had to be smashed). I could easily see myself wearing these again without any thought of embarrassment.
Snatch Shorts are available for $39.99 at BornPrimitive.com.
1. Everett, Greg. 2009. Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches. Second edition. Calif.: Catalyst Athletics, p. 155.