By Bryan Marshall, six-time Ontario Champion weightlifter and current Provincial Record Holder, Strength Coach at Journey To Excel Training Centre in Ontario, Canada, Founder of trü Performance Nutrition.
Photography by Paul Buceta
On Location at Conker Fitness, Oakville, ON.


When properly executed, this move is an impressive combo of strength, speed and mobility. Follow these expert tips to help you polish this powerful lift.

First, we’ll start with the basics:

  1. Grip: To determine proper placement of your hands for the power snatch, stand upright holding the bar in front of you with a very wide grip. The bar should be resting slightly below the hipbone.
  2. Stance: When performing the motion, keep a narrow stance with heels hip-width apart and toes flared out slightly.
  3. Posture: It is crucial to maintain a strong curve in the lumbar spine to protect your spine throughout the movement and allow it to handle more weight.

Now, because the power snatch is a complex, high-speed movement, it is best to break it down into the four key positions involved in the lift before linking them together into a fluid motion.


Position One: The Start

•Stand behind an Olympic barbell with toes under the bar. Your heels should be hip-width apart and toes turned out slightly.

•Squat down and grasp the bar with straight arms, using a wide, overhand grip.

•Position your shoulders in front of the bar so the bar is close to your body. Maintain a strong curve in the lumbar spine.


Position Two: The Pick Up

•The “pick-up” refers to the act of moving the bar from the ground to the knees.

•In a controlled tempo, pull the bar from the ground, keeping the arms straight and back arched.

•If done properly, the angle of your torso will remain the same from the ground to when the bar reaches the knees.


Position Three: The Extension

•As the bar passes your knees, fully extend your ankles, knees and hips to generate maximum bar speed and height.

•The bar should travel in a straight line up the body, making contact slightly above the hipbone.



Position Four: The Catch

•Jump off the ground, shrugging your shoulders and bending your arms to bring the bar upwards.

•When the bar reaches the highest point, pull your body underneath, catching the bar overhead with locked arms, lowering into a partial front squat.

•Once the bar is caught, immediately come up to standing, keeping the bar overhead with arms locked and head in front of your arms.

•At this point, the bar, shoulders, hips and ankles should all be stacked in proper alignment.


click here to learn the power clean
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