Power Snatch vs. Snatch

The power snatch is mechanically the same as the snatch with the only difference being the height the bar is received. In the power variation of the snatch (and clean) the bar is received with the thighs above parallel. The power snatch offers a number of benefits and uses, though it also presents a couple potential problems. I'll talk about some of the problems and then go into the benefits. 

The first potential problem with the power snatch is that it makes learning and developing the full range of motion and flexibility required in the receiving position of the snatch inconsistent by being an alternative. Sometimes, emphasizing the power snatch can make learning and getting comfortable receiving the bar overhead harder.   Secondly, the feet tend to be in a wider receiving position in the power snatch and that limits ones ability to ride the barbell down into a full squat if the bar doesn't travel high enough; this can lead to elbow, wrist, or shoulder injuries if the failed lift isn't handled properly.

The power snatch can be the "easy out" because the athlete may be lifting more with the power snatch and not want to do a lower weight when forced to have the full range of motion (ROM) that the full snatch requires; however, with proper development of the snatch, one can snatch even heavier loads. A Soviet weightlifting coach found that proficient lifters power snatch only 81% of their full snatch; in terms of athletic development, the full snatch requires power, strength, and flexibility that the power snatch doesn't develop. 

All of that said, the benefits of the power snatch are that it allows non-weightlifting focused or newer athletes to develop an explosive and aggressive hip opening and extension, work on turning over the bar into the overhead position, and everyone is generally flexible enough to complete the movement. As long as flexibility and building strength through overhead squats are regularly programmed, the transition and development into the full snatch will be more smooth. It'll take some time to develop the flexibility and trust in receiving that bar overhead in the squat, but that satisfaction once you can is like nothing else. 

Have a great President's Day weekend holiday everyone! 


A. 5x3 Front squats. Work up to heaviest possible.
B. 5x5 Strict Press from the Split Jerk Position


"Da Friday Chipper"

50' shuttle run
20 Wall balls 20/14
5 Power snatches 95/65#
15 Wall balls
10 Power snatches
10 Wall Balls
15 Power snatches
5 Wall balls