Simplifying the Snatch Pull
Written by Gaje McDaniel

Pulling from the floor can be difficult for most but I have found three different steps to you simplify it. By slowing the movement down and pausing at certain positions, we can feel our body move, to help understand the full movement. If you’re an athlete who struggles with bar path or snatching in general, this could be for you.

Step 1
Emphasis during our first pull in the Snatch to “PUSH” up. If we think about “PULLING” then we let either our legs or chest drive first and it puts weight in the wrong part of our foot. Set-up requires weight in the mid-foot and tension throughout our body. With all of that being said, when we go to lift the bar off the floor, we must let our torso remain at the same angle.The chest angle should not change until the bar has passed our hang position (step 2). If my chest raises first, my bar path is obstructed by my shins, and if I let my butt rise first, my chest travels too far over the bar. We MUST push into the floor allowing our knees or to get out of the way and still maintain tension and correct angle.


Step 2
Once the bar reaches knee height, we now need to travel to our next position (high hang) in one motion. This requires a “HINGE” and our weight to stay in mid-foot. Many times I see athletes start to stand too early, not allowing for a chest upright extension. When we hinge, we need to understand that our knees and chest move at the same time. The knees create a scoop motion, at the same time our upper body travels back to an upright position. The scoop should happen naturally. It’s hitting upright that you really need to work for.


Step 3
Once we’ve reached high hang, all there this is to do if finish. Shoulders behind our ears, broad chest, lats pulling the bar to our hip, let your hips get full extension, before allowing shoulders to shrug and feet to extend tall through our toes. Emphasis on chest vertical and knees remaining bent before extension. We cannot finish until all other steps are completed, timing is everything. It’s like a ripple effect from the floor.


Common Mistakes
Extending too early without chest vertical, inevitably pushing our bar out front.

Shrugging before we extend with our hips, creating bad timing and inconsistent contact points.

Practicing snatch pulls and swinging the bar forward.

Snatch Pulls should be executed the exact same as any snatch we are attempting. If we are doing things differently and “practicing” wrong, we are creating bad habits that lead to mistakes. Practice is different from training, and training is different that competing, knowing the difference can go a long way.

This is a fantastic drill to practice with a PVC pipe or barbell. The slower the better. If I allow my body to move slowly, I can learn how I need to move before speeding up anything. Give it a try!


Also Check Out…

How To Become A Snatch Master

Barbell Cycling Strategies: The Power Snatch

Importance Of Working From The Hang

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