If You Can Jump, You Can Snatch!

SNATCH /snaCH/ verb: jumping a barbell from a stationary position on the floor and receiving it in a supported, active position overhead. If you can jump, you can snatch!

In the Snatch Skill Clinic, lead by Coach Tori, she focused primarily on good setup, keeping the bar close, and getting to the full open-hip position. This is where the explosive power comes from in order to get under the bar more successfully. The fundamental drills are intended to be an ongoing practice and when done consistently will help to instill the muscle memory for the correct movement under load. Training overhead squats with good mechanics will also improve strength and stability in the receiving position of the movement and will ensure that you safely and successfully receive and stand the lift up.



Stance focuses on what position your feet are in. There are two stances to a snatch. The jumping stance is where our feet start, feet directly beneath hips. The landing stance is where we end, feet roughly squat width apart. This makes room for hips in bottom of squat, which can’t be done if your feet are too narrow. 

Jumping Stance (starting position):

  1. Feet are hip width apart.
  2. Toes turned out slightly.
  3. Weight is balanced and evenly distributed in the feet.

Landing Stance (receiving position):

  1. Feet are shoulder width apart.
  2. Toes turned out slightly.
  3. Knees are tracking over the toes.
  4. Chest and eyes are on the horizon.
  5. Weight is balanced and evenly distributed in the feet.



Grip focuses on where your hands are in relationship to barbell. There are two grip considerations with the snatch: hook grip and grip width on the barbell. Hook grip is how we hold the bar. Grip width is how far your hands are outside our shoulders. We cannot express enough the importance of hook grip, for safety and efficient movement. 

Hook Grip: 

  1. Thumb wraps around the bar.
  2. Pointer and middle fingers pinch the thumb into the bar.

Grip Width:

  1. Wide grip to facilitate 6-12’’ space overhead.
  2. Straight arms.
  3. Barbell hits about crease of the hip when standing tall.



There are two positions of importance in the snatch and they reference the body’s position in relation to the bar at start and receipt of the barbell. 


  1. Barbell starts at rest and is positioned over the middle of the foot.
  2. Shoulders should be over and slightly in front of the barbell.
  3. Shoulders are higher than hips, hips are higher than knees.
  4. Spine is neutral and back is active; tuck your shoulder blades into your back pockets.

Receiving position:

  1. Active shoulders = External rotation + internal torque.
  2. Armpits point forward and crease of elbow points up.
  3. Bar is stacked over the shoulders, hips and middle of the foot.
  4. Upright torso.
  5. Weight is balanced and feet are in a stable receiving position.



There are 3 distinct pulls to a snatch, and each pull impacts the next. 

Liftoff/ First Pull:

  1. Maintain tension and control from ground to above the knee, around mid thigh.
  2. Keep shoulders on top of the bar as long as possible, allowing legs to do the work.
  3. Keep the bar close, allowing for efficiency and continual acceleration into second pull.

Triple Extension/ Second Pull:

  1. Shoulders move from over the bar to on top/behind the bar.
  2. Violent extension of the ankles, knees and hips resulting in maximal velocity of the bar.
  3. Creates momentary weightlessness of the bar allowing the athlete to begin the third pull.

Pull Around and Under the Bar/ Third Pull:

  1. Active and aggressive “pull” around and under the bar
  2. Receive the bar in a supported overhead position.


Now that we’ve broken down the fundamentals of this movement, we wanted to share a few warmups to get your arms, legs, and hips firing. 

  1. Forward and lateral lunges
  2. Spider-man crawl
  3. Toy soldiers
  4. Plank walkouts
  5. Bear crawl
  6. Overhead duck walk
  7. Frog hop
  8. High knees and butt kicks
  9. Broad jump landing in squat
  10. Junk Yard Dogs


Are you looking to improve your snatch? You can spend one-on-one time with one of our CrossFit coaches to focus on technique and drills to improve your lift. You can learn more about personal training sessions here or to get more info, send us an email at [email protected].