Exercise Library
Snatch Pull

The snatch pull is the most common snatch-related strength exercise and the basis for numerous variations.
Set the snatch starting position tightly—heels approximately hip-width with toes turned out, bar over the balls of the foot, knees over the bar and pushed out inside the arms, snatch-width grip, arms relaxed and stretched long, shoulder joint above the bar, trunk braced forcefully with the back extended, and the head and eyes forward.
Push with the legs through the whole foot against the floor similarly to a squat. Maintain even balance over the whole foot and actively keep the bar as close to the legs as possible, and maintain approximately the same back angle until the bar is past the knees. Once at lower to mid-thigh, open the hips explosively while driving vertically with the legs even harder to accelerate maximally.
Extend the entire body approximately vertically—don’t try to mimic the hyperextension of the hips we would have in an actual snatch. Here we want to focus on vertical power and balance.
As the legs and hips finish extending, shrug up and back and bend the elbows slightly to actively keep the bar against the body through the extended position—at no point should it move away.
The heels will rise naturally with the effort to push against the ground forcefully. Keep the entire body tight and continue pushing against the ground until the bar stops moving up, then drop back to flat feet as the bar falls.
Return the bar to the floor under minimal control to maintain your grip and basic position for the next rep.  
The snatch pull is a basic but important exercise for training the extension of the snatch in terms of strength, speed, power, posture and balance. Lifters will be able to manage heavier weights than in the snatch, which allows the development of strength to push weights in the snatch. The snatch pull can also be used as a remedial exercise to practice balance and position in the pull, or as part of a learning progression for the snatch.
Generally the snatch pull should be done for 2-5 reps per set anywhere from 80%-110% of the lifter’s best snatch depending on the lifter and how much emphasis needs to be placed on speed versus strength. Newer lifters whose snatches are significantly limited by technique will likely need to pull much heavier percentages to adequately train strength in the pull.
In any case, the weight should not exceed what the lifter can do with proper positioning and technique and speed in the final extension. If heavier weights are desired, typically deadlift or partial pull variations are preferable.
As a strength exercise, it should be placed toward the end of a workout, but because it also involves some speed and technique, it’s generally best placed before more basic strength work like squats.
The snatch pull can be performed on a riser, from blocks, with flat feet at the top, with slow eccentrics (3-6 seconds typically), with one or more pauses on the way up, from various hang or block heights, with slow concentrics in the lower range to emphasize control over posture and balance, with a static or dynamic start, with or without straps, and many other possibilities.

Please log in to post a comment

Roozbeh Rezaie
November 13 2020
I've been a little confused regarding second pull timing.
its mentioned in the book that an individual should wait until the bar reach mid to upper thigh,then start the scoop.
But i had watched a few tutorial clip made by chinese weightlifting community where the athletes start the scoop right after the bar pass the kness.
Is this a technique diversity?
See this article. Mid-thigh is a general landmark, but even if aiming to stay over to that point, the knees will nearly always begin moving forward a little earlier, and when exactly it begins will depend primarily on proportions and strength, i.e. short-legged lifters (e.g. most Chinese lifters) will tend to scoop earlier to rely naturally more on leg drive than hip extension.

Greg Everett