The Power Snatch can add an explosive new element to your workout


The power snatch is a great weightlifting exercise to build strength and fluidity for the more traditional full snatch. As part of a training program, the power snatch can be a useful accessory for tearing technique work in order to improve the power output and to build up the upper body traction mechanism during tearing.

In order to perform large power snatches, it is important to pay attention to the subtle details of this exercise as they will help maximize the benefits for technique work and physical adjustments. Personally, I like to use Power Snatches in my programming when I want to build up snatch pulling power. In addition, the power snatch variant is not as technically driven as the traditional snatch, which requires a deeper squat under the loaded barbell, so the variation is a bit easier to program more regularly.

Let’s break down how to perform muscle tearing, the benefits of muscle tearing for your workout plan, and common muscle tearing mistakes so you can see if the exercise is right for you.

Here’s how to do the power snatch

  1. Assume a grip similar to your traditional snatch by holding the dumbbell with your hands outside of your hips. An easy way to find your grip is to stand with the barbell and assess where it is positioned. If you’re holding the bar around the crook of your hip, your grip is likely in a good place. If you hold it by the thigh, expand your grip slightly, and if it is above your hip, bring your reach up a bit.

  2. Adjust the hips and back like a traditional snatch. The hips should sit below the torso and you should maintain a rigid torso position to create tension before pulling.

  3. Once adjusted, prepare accordingly for the existing load and begin the pulling phase with your elbows pointing up.

  4. When the barbell begins to pass your knees, it moves on to the transition phase and the second, which is where much of your strength and strength is developed.

  5. On the second pull, remember to move your elbows up, then initiate the turnover phase and drop under the barbell as soon as the barbell feels “weightless” as this typically indicates that the barbell is you Has reached the point where you can go under the barbell to do the right power snatches.

  6. Once you are in this turnover phase and begin to fall under the barbell, your feet can move easily depending on your gripping mechanics and what feels most comfortable. After taking the weight above your head, continue to climb and stand up.

Remember, power snatches are power snatches only if the weight is captured when you are over a parallel squat. If you drop a little deeper, you’re not doing power snatches and you may want to lower the load a bit to improve the power snatch mechanics.

Photo credit: Men’s Health

When running and programming power snatches, you should generally use lighter weights than full snatches. As we catch the weight higher, we have less time to get under the barbell, so lighter loads are usually prescribed for this exercise. The percentage of weight used will depend on your training goals, needs, and skill level.

Benefits of PowerSnatch

Credit: South_agency - Getty Images

Credit: South_agency – Getty Images

There are a few key benefits associated with the power snatch, and those benefits will depend on your needs and how you use the exercise.

1. Ideal for technical work

If you are new to the snatch and are struggling to be patient with your final pull and punch, the power snatch can be a great tool to teach you to be patient with your snatch.

As we are actively trying to get a larger / higher catch position with respect to the hips, we will be forced to be very aware of what is going on during the last 30 percent of our pull in relation to our speed under the barbell, also known as improvement the authority of our sales positioning.

2. Good for warm-up exercises

In addition to technical work, power snatches can also be a good warm-up exercise for the upper body to prepare for full snatches. Since you’re using a lighter load, power snatches can be useful in preparing the muscles needed to catch and stabilize snatches.

3. Decent option for non-weightlifting athletes

For the small portion of lifters who want to do snatch variations without doing full snatches, the power snatch can be a great option. Because of this, we often see the exercise programmed into functional fitness workouts and college training settings.

Power snatches load more easily than traditional snatches, don’t require nearly as much technical focus across the entire kinetic chain, and are still challenging to get some torso pull benefits.

The most common power snatch mistakes

Credit: vm - Getty Images

Credit: vm – Getty Images

There are two common mistakes in power snatch that beginners and non-weightlifting athletes make with muscle snatch.

1. Getting too heavy – power or near?

The first and most common mistake is too serious. If you have to bend over and catch the weight in a full snatch position (under a parallel squat position) then what you’re really doing is a snatch. Because of this, it is important that your skill level and current strength level determine the level of stress on this exercise to ensure that you are catching the weight high enough.

Unless you do power snatches with the clear intention of catching them in a larger position, you will not get the full benefit they can offer in terms of electricity production.

2. Don’t be patient

Aside from getting too heavy, another mistake you’ll see with the power snatch is speeding up the pull’s turnover. This will present itself as a lifter breaking the arms way too early and then being in a position that puts his mechanics at a disadvantage to end the turnover with a larger catching position.

It is important to remember with power snatches that the main intention in the second pull and turnover phase is to be strong quickly, and then actively focus on catching the weight a little higher than with traditional snatches.

Take-away performance

With power snatches, remember that your skills will dictate the load on the bar. If you have to bend over to gain weight, you cannot get the full benefits of this exercise.

Power snatches are great for practicing the second pull and turnover technique in the snatch, and can also be a great snatch variant for non-weightlifting athletes who want to practice this movement but don’t want to dive into full snatches.

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