Are you looking to boost your speed and power in the gym? The power snatch might be just what you need! This beginner-friendly variation of the classic Olympic lift is designed to help you hone your technique and build the power you need to execute the full snatch with ease. Whether you’re a weightlifter, a CrossFitter, or just someone looking to up their strength game, the power snatch is a versatile and challenging exercise that is sure to deliver results.
But before you jump right in, it’s important to understand what exactly the power snatch is and how it differs from a traditional snatch. Unlike the full snatch, which requires you to receive the barbell in a full squat position, the power snatch trains you to receive the barbell higher up, relying on speed and power over raw strength. Whether you’re a seasoned weightlifter or just starting out, mastering the power snatch can help you develop better upper body mechanics and build the explosive power you need to tackle any workout.
So if you’re ready to take your strength training to the next level, let’s dive in and learn everything you need to know about the power snatch!
What Is Power Snatch?
The power snatch is a dynamic and technical exercise that has its roots in Olympic weightlifting. Born from the original barbell snatch, the power snatch has become a staple in the training regimes of many athletes, not just weightlifters. It’s a great measure of overall strength and power, as it requires triple extension – the simultaneous extension of hips, knees, and ankles – to create maximum explosiveness. This is what makes Olympic lifts so unique and challenging, as they require precise timing and coordination.
While Olympic weightlifters use the power snatch as a supplemental exercise to improve their performance on the regular snatch, many other athletes choose to use the power snatch to train their explosiveness for their respective sport. The biggest difference between the two lifts is the range of motion used. In the snatch, you lift the bar from the floor to overhead, dropping into a deep squat and then standing tall. With the power snatch, you only drop into a quarter-squat, making the lift less challenging for mobility.
The power snatch requires your arms to travel a little farther to get the bar overhead, but it also allows you to move the bar faster, which generates more power. This is why Olympic lifters often drill the power snatch, as it helps them get the bar traveling higher, making it easier to catch in the finish position of the regular snatch. The fact that the power snatch uses lighter weight than the snatch is actually a benefit, as it makes the lift safer and easier to get the hang of, while still allowing you to work on your explosiveness.
How to Do the Power Snatch
Here’s how to do power snatch with the perfect form.
- Start with your shoelaces under the bar and grab the bar with a wide snatch grip.
- Keep your gaze at eye level and set your back straight by pulling your shoulders back and pushing your knees out slightly.
- Ensure that your shoulders are over the barbell.
- Find tension and stillness before your lift comes off the floor.
- Push through your legs and pull the bar past your knee while elevating your chest.
- Keep your shoulders vertically over the bar and arms straight during the pull.
- Your chest and hips should rise at the same rate as the weight comes off the floor.
- As you approach a standing position, pull the barbell into your hip and extend forcefully.
- At hip contact, extend your ankles, knees, and hips at the same time.
- Pull your elbows up and back while pointing your knuckles down at the floor.
- Pull the barbell to at least chest-height and extend up onto your toes at the top of the pull.
- Pull yourself underneath the barbell to catch the weight overhead.
- Your hip crease must stay above your knee when you catch the bar.
- Your feet should slide out slightly to a wider stance.
- To catch with power, push up against the barbell immediately after straightening your arms to prevent the weight from pushing you downward.
Why Do The Power Snatch?
The power snatch is a great way to build speed and power in your lifts, especially during the second and third pull. And if you’re looking for a lighter option for your training, the power snatch can be a good choice. It’s also a helpful starting point for beginners who are still learning, or for those who have trouble getting into a deep overhead squat.
What Are The Benefits Of Power Snatch?
The power snatch is a versatile and effective exercise that offers a range of benefits to athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re looking to improve your Olympic weightlifting skills, enhance your athletic performance, or simply add some excitement to your workouts, the power snatch is worth considering. Here are some of the benefits of power snatch.
Improved Snatch Technique
The power snatch is an ideal starting point for anyone looking to compete in Olympic weightlifting. It’s easier to master than the full snatch and a great foundation for developing the technique you’ll need for competition. Learning the power snatch is like laying the foundation for a great full snatch. The technique is the same from start to finish, except for the height you catch the barbell at. That means, if you work on improving your technique with the power snatch, you’ll likely see those improvements carry over to your full snatch too!
Enhance Your Athletic Performance
The power snatch is a fantastic way to develop triple extension power, which is used in a variety of sports. Incorporating the power snatch into your workout routine will help you run faster, jump higher, and hit harder.
Develop Explosiveness and Rate of Force Development
The power snatch has been proven to be an effective tool for developing lower-body power, outpacing both vertical jump programs and powerlifting programs. This weightlifting movement has been shown to be particularly beneficial for athletes and sportspeople looking to improve explosiveness and rate of force development (RFD).
The Perfect Balance
The power snatch provides the perfect balance between strength and speed. It provides enough resistance to stimulate strength gains, but also focuses on explosive speed, allowing you to generate more force in an instant.
Better Than the Power Clean
The power snatch is also a more effective exercise than the power clean when it comes to building power. It actually generates more power output than the power clean, and it’s harder to cheat with incorrect form.
Emphasize Hip and Leg Drive
With the power snatch, there’s no chance of cheating the movement by heaving the weight up with your arms and back. To perform the power snatch correctly, you must emphasize hip and leg drive, making it a challenging and effective exercise for building power.
The Power of Power Snatch: Muscles Worked
When it comes to the power snatch, there’s a lot happening in this dynamic move! But what muscles are really doing the heavy lifting? Let’s take a closer look at the major players:
Lower Body Powerhouses
Your lower body is where the real power in this lift comes from. Your quads and glutes work together to elevate the bar while keeping your torso steady. These muscle groups also play a key role in catching the lift and resisting its downward momentum.
Back to Basics
Your back muscles also play a critical role in keeping the bar close and guiding it to the right catch position. Your lats engage in the pull, while your spinal erectors act as a sturdy frame for your legs to generate force.
When the bar clears your hips, your shoulders step in to guide it and then push up against it in the overhead position. Strong, rigid shoulders are crucial for a successful catch.
Once the bar is over your head, your arms have to work quickly to secure it in place. Your triceps help lock out your arms under the bar for a successful lift.
At the center of it all, your core remains active throughout the power snatch, holding everything together as you move your body under the weight. From maintaining tension off the floor to turning the bar over and extending your arms, a strong core is key.
Power Snatch Vs. Snatch: What’s The Difference?
Here are the differences between power snatch and regular snatch:
The main difference between the power snatch and the snatch is the position in which you catch the barbell. In a power snatch, you catch the weight in a quarter-squat position with a knee angle of 90 degrees or more and thighs above parallel to the floor. In a classic weightlifting (full) snatch, however, you descend into a deep squat with knees bent 60 degrees or less and thighs below parallel.
The power snatch also requires you to pull the weight higher since you don’t descend into a deep squat position to control the bar. The greater pulling range means that you need to produce more power, so you will typically use less weight than in the snatch.
The snatch requires a lot of mobility in the ankles, hips, and thoracic spine, and for most people, achieving a deep overhead squat is challenging. This is why the power snatch is more widely used than the snatch, particularly for people who want to develop power and explosiveness but aren’t preparing for weightlifting competition.
Power Snatch Alternatives
The power snatch is a complex exercise that may not be suitable for everyone, but there are alternative options that offer similar benefits and results.
1. Dumbbell Power Snatch
To perform a dumbbell snatch, place the weight on the floor and straddle it with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Using proper form, bend down and grasp the weight. Use the movement of triple extension to raise the weight off the floor, straight up in front of your torso until it’s overhead, with your feet landing as your arm locks out the elbow. Reach out your free arm to help maintain balance, then lower the weight to your chest and return it to the floor.
2. Muscle Snatch
The muscle snatch focuses on the upper body and arm muscles in the snatch exercise. It removes the squat component and uses only the arms to push the barbell into position, allowing for improvement in fixation and upper body strength.
incorporating the competition snatch into your training regimen prepares you for success on meet day. However, incorporating other similar movements such as the power snatch into your practice provides even more benefits. The power snatch demands total-body power and helps improve overall weightlifting skills. By embracing the power snatch, you can take your weightlifting to the next level and reap the rewards of a well-rounded training program.