The Hang Power Snatch is one of my favorite lifts for force production. It’s one of the fastest movements you can do in a weight room and teaches aggressive triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles to be as explosive as possible.
In this article I’m going to teach you how to perform a hang power snatch from the hang position to finishing with the bar overhead. I’m also going to share with you the benefits of the movement and how to best incorporate this snatch variation into your training.
How To Hang Power Snatch
Address the bar with feet hip width apart, toes pointed straight ahead or ever so slightly out. The bar should be resting just above the mid-foot. (I like to use the knot in your shoe lace as a visual cue)
The grip on the bar for a hang power snatch, or any snatch grip for that matter, is wide – placing the index finger on the snatch ring of the bar is a good starting point for most lifters. Using a hook grip is optional, but encouraged.
Now, using your legs with a good flat back, lift the bar up to a standing position. From here:
Slightly bend the knees and push them out. Set the back by engaging the lats and squeezing the shoulder blades back. (“Big Chest” is my go-to coaching cue here) Eyes straight ahead.
Now, we’re going to move into the hang position. Hinge forward by pushing the hips back, bringing the shoulders over top of, or slightly in front of the bar. The bar should now be resting on the mid thigh to upper thigh.
From this position, extend the hips aggressively by driving the feet through the floor and triple extending through the ankles, knees and hips.
Coaching Point: One of the biggest mistakes lifters make is to cut the pull short and not reach complete extension. Don’t be in a rush to pull with the arms as that will cut your power short on the movement.
This complete extension should be immediately followed by a violent shrug, breaking elbows high out to the side to allow the bar to begin tracking up. Keep the bar close to the bar as it moves vertically.
Finish the movement by shifting the feet from hip width to shoulder width, rotating under the bar, dropping the hips down into a partial squat position and arms punch straight into a locked out position with the bar overhead.
Stand tall and either drop the bar back to the platform or lower back down to the starting position.
Why Hang Power Snatch?
The triple extension emphasized in a hang power snatch is the same triple extension that is seen in sprinting, jumping and most other athletic movements. That’s why I believe Olympic lifts and their variations are such great movements.
Personally, I love the using the hang power snatch with my athletes because it’s technically a much easier variation of the full snatch, which also makes it great to teach beginners.
Starting the snatch from the floor can be difficult for some athletes because it is more demanding from a mobility standpoint than even a power clean (which some athletes struggle with when I first start working with them.)
Starting in a standing position removes mobility limitations and eliminates some of the moving pieces involved with starting from the floor.
The full squat position with the bar overhead is also more technically demanding and requires good mobility through the lower and upper body (side note: this is why I love overhead squatting almost daily within my warmups).
By moving the start to a hang position and eliminating the overhead squat, athletes – or any lifter – can focus purely on power production which is why I believe the hang power snatch has so much value.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that you should just ignore mobility issues, not at all. But, going from the hang position gives lifters a lift they can be successful with while they continue to improve their range of motion.
When to Hang Power Snatch Within a Program
Hang Power Snatches can be incorporated within your program any time of the year. I even like to use them in-season as a way to continue working on force development.
Catching power cleans can be tricky depending on the sport because of wrists, but a snatch is a much less demanding catching position on the wrists and hands.
Also, because the weight is generally much lighter, it’s less wear and tear on the body.
When looking at weekly or daily programming for all lifters, hang power snatch should be the first, or very close to the first movement done in a workout.
The daily workout plan should begin with the fastest movement first, followed by compound exercises and finishing with isometric exercises (gotta get them curls in). This is to maximize CNS availability.
When to incorporate hang power snatches into your weekly plan will depend on such a wide variety of factors that it’s almost impossible to give a definitive answer here.
Hang Power Snatch Substitutions
Have hang power snatches in your workout plan, but you’re unable to do them?
If it’s because of an injury on one arm, you could try single arm snatches with a dumbbell if your injury allows it.
If it’s because you’re not comfortable with the technique, then I would suggest either kettlebell swings or med ball tosses. Both work on generating better force production through powerful hip extension, but are technically much easier to perform.
The hang power snatch is an amazing training exercise to develop power.
I would highly suggest including them in your training program as long you can perform them with proper technique and ensure proper positioning.
Finally, if you need a training program, head over to my programs page to see all of our currently available strength and conditioning programs.