Learning to Snatch

chefThis article is directed at those who have attended a RuleStrength Weightifting Workshop or are about to.

What follows is a step by step approach that will have an individual Snatching in 6 steps (the same steps are used on the OLF/Ushomi OWI Weightlifting Course). As Weightlifting is a physical activity it won’t do to just read the instructions and look at the clips. You might want to get to the gym and practice the steps. The aim is to get people snatching, these steps or system can be used to learn the exercise and then to use as a warm up before you Snatch.

Step 1
Behind the Neck Press.
This exercise is the first step in learning the Snatch. It ensures that a person has the strength and range of motion to hold a weight above their head- important in the Snatch
This exercise is often considered a contraindicating exercise. This is garbage. If the exercise is performed correctly it is a brilliant exercise. The key is to keep the elbows under or in line with the vertical line of the bar. The bar should move up and down this vertical line which should be over the hips and the middle of the foot. This exercise should be performed with the Snatch grip.

The following is an excellent clip from the team at California Strength:


Step 2
Overhead Squat
Following the Behind Neck Press is the Overhead Squat. If the Behind Neck Press is to make sure of overhead strength and range of motion, the Overhead Squat is to see if the person is able to get to the receiving position of the Snatch whilst holding a weight overhead and then to stand up with this weight again.


Step 3
Snatch Balance
The Snatch Balance begins with the bar across the shoulders and the feet directly under the hips. The person drives themselves under the bar and into the bottom of the overhead squat whilst punching up against the bar, the bar is then stood up.


Step 4
Snatch from Hip
This is where the bar is Snatched from the front of the body for the first time. The bar starts at the hip and then the athlete jumps up and jumps under the bar and lands in the bottom of the Snatch position. This clip from Glenn Pendlay when he was at California Strength sums it up:


Step 5
Snatch from Knee
We now move to the knee. Again this video demonstrates it perfectly:


Step 6
Now it’s time to Snatch from the floor, or just Snatch. Again the California Strength team do a great job of demonstrating:


So there you have it 6 easy steps to get you to perform the full Snatch. Practice, practice, practice….


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