The Snatch

The barbell is centered on the platform by the loaders. The lifter approches the bar, standing with feet hip width to shoulder width apart, centered on the barbell. The feet are placed under the bar so the bar is directly over the balls of the feet. Keeping the back straight, the lifer tilts the torso forward slightly, and bending at the knees, lowers into the starting position to grip the bar with a wide grip. The feet are flat on the platform with bodyweight distributed evenly between the balls of the feet and the heels.

The first phase of the pull

In the first phase of the pull the bar is raised from the platform in a controlled manner. The knees are straightened so the hips and shoulders raise at the same rate. Once the bar passes the knees, the tilt of the torso is reduced to further raise the bar until it touches the upper thighs. At the same time the torso is brought into a more upright position, the knees re-bend slightly in preparation for the second phase of the pull. The feet remain flat on the platform with bodyweight, and the weight on the bar, shifted back slightly as the bar touches the upper thighs. The arms remain straight thoughout the first phase of the pull.

The second phase of the pull

Having completed the first phase of the pull, the lifter is in a power position. From the power position the lifter is ready to enlist the large muscles of the legs, hips and back, in one explosive movement to accelerate the bar. With the knees bent and the torso leaning slightly forward, as if to perform a verticle leap, the second phase of the pull is executed. The legs extend and the hips drive forward forcing the torso upward. The arms are still straight with the elbows out to the side, which transfers the movement of the torso to the barbell. The feet, shoulders and arms further assist in lifting the bar. The lifter pushs off the platform with such force that only the balls of the feet and\or toes remain in contact with the platform. In shrugging the trapezious muscles, the shoulders will rise, which, with the addition of some arm pull, will cause the bar to reach its apex.

Receiving the bar

Using the arms, the lifter pulls the body under the bar and receives the barbell with both arms extented and the elbows locked. Depending on the lifters level of skill, one of two things will happen. The skilled athlete will move into a deep squat position (squat snatch), which does not require the bar be pulled as high, thus allowing a heavier weight to be attempted. The less skilled athlete will bend the knees slightly (power snatch).

The down signal

The final part of the snatch is to stand up and wait for the down signal. If the attempt was a power snatch (a slight bending of the knees) the lifter need only straighten the legs and make sure the feet are side by side. From the squat snatch position the lifter keeps the torso as upright as possible and rises using leg and hip strength.

In some competitions a buzzer sounds for the down signal. The head referee says "down" in local meets.


Nevada Barbell Club

Phone 849-1613


The Snatch

  [Snatch - Elwood Bluzinskovich]