How To Do Snatch (Squat Snatch)
Snatch is an explosive exercise that targets the lower back, gluteus, hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
The lats, rear shoulders, traps and upper back muscles are also used in this exercise.
The core muscles are heavily activated in the Snatch to stabilise the upper body and support the lower back.
This exercise not only builds muscle but also develops power, speed and coordination plus improved stability, mobility and flexibility in the hips, hamstrings and shoulders.
Snatch Progression & Mobility
- Take a wide overhand grip on the barbell. The grip should be wide enough that at the top position, the bar can rest on the crease of your hips.
- Assume the bottom position of the Deadlift. Your feet must be hip width apart, feet in a neutral position. Bend your knees. Shoulders must be ahead of the bar, back kept flat and your hips positioned lower than your shoulders.
- Initiate the Snatch by pushing your feet through the floor. When the bar is at knee level, drive your hips and explode by jumping up. The momentum of the jump should throw the bar over, behind your head and drive you to the bottom position of the squat.
- At the bottom position which is the catch position of the Snatch, your feet have moved out to shoulder width level. Your arms must be extended and your elbows fully locked out. The bar at the fully extended position must be in line with your shoulders and heels.
- Your hips are behind the shoulders and lower than the crease of your knees which are past your feet.
- Squat up by keeping your core tight and pushing your feet through the floor; extend your knees than your hips until you have reached top position. Bring your feet closer together for better balance.
- Bring the barbell down and repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of reps.
Faults, Form and Technique
Opening up your knees too much at the start of the pull will place more stress on your lower back.
If you do not practice correct technique, you may end up relying too much on muscle strength which will slow down the pull and increase the risk of injury to your shoulders and elbows.
Another common fault in the Snatch technique is trying to catch the weight with a wider than shoulder width stance.
This causes the hips to go under the bar and reduce your level of balance and stability.