Exercise Library
Snatch Balance

The snatch balance is an exercise that trains strength, aggression, balance, timing and confidence for receiving the snatch.
Start standing with the barbell behind your neck with a snatch-width grip, the shoulder blades set tightly as they will be overhead, and your feet in your pulling stance. Brace your trunk and ensure even balance over the whole foot.
Bend the knees smoothly, maintaining balance and an upright torso, then drive up with the legs to minimally elevate the bar—the goal is to unload the bar to allow yourself time to move under, not to elevate it any higher than necessary. A slower, more controlled dip and drive than you use for a jerk will help.
Punch the arms aggressively up into the bar as you lift and move your feet into your receiving stance and squat as quickly as possible into the bottom of an overhead squat. Making sure it’s stable and secure, stand again with the bar overhead.
If you maintain the hook grip when you turn the snatch over, use the hook grip in the snatch balance.
The snatch balance develops strength, aggression, balance, timing and confidence for receiving the snatch. It allows the practice of quick and precise foot movement in the pull under, a vertical punch up to secure and stabilize the bar overhead as will be done at the end of the snatch turnover, and when done with weights around and above the lifter’s best snatch, builds confidence for pulling low under maximal snatch attempts.
The snatch balance should be performed with sets of 1-3 reps, typically anywhere from 70-100% or more of the lifter’s best snatch—aiming to be able to use more than best snatch is a good way to build confidence for heavy snatches. The exercise is usually performed best in the middle of a training session, after any snatch, clean or jerk exercises that demand more speed and technique, but before more strength-oriented exercises like pulls and squats. They can be performed before snatches with light weights as a technique primer. 
The snatch balance is one of 4 snatch balance exercises: pressing snatch balance, drop snatch, heaving snatch balance and snatch balance.
See More
Pressing Snatch Balance
Heaving Snatch Balance
Drop Snatch

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June 27 2017
February 13 2020
Might be a dumb question. Can the snatch balance be done with jerk boxes rather then receiving the bar behind the neck between reps? Working on the bar path for receiving the bar behind the neck, but still not confident with more weight then the bar
Yep, just be sure they're low enough to allow you to squat all the way down without interference and wide enougth that your arms don't hit them.

Greg Everett
Chris Murray
October 10 2021
Thanks for making your other instructional video on this exercise. Very helpful.

What is your advice for lifters who don’t fixate the bar very well on receiving, and instead get crushed into a squat? Do you think the “snatch recovery” would help (a pull under into a bottoms up OHS from blocks)? Or should I focus more on snatch balances instead to improve fixation? Thank you very much for any thoughts/advice.

(Asking because I don’t currently have access to blocks to test and compare both exercises)
I would do heaving snatch balances (feet stay planted flat) and drive/lock relatively high and ride fluidly down into squat. Over time, work heavier and into lower receiving position.

Greg Everett