The hang snatch high pull is one of my favorite exercises, especially with athletes, to work on hip explosion and triple extension.
The two main reasons why is because since there is no catch, there is less technique to worry about. This allows for the focus to be purely on great hip extension.
Second, the use of a snatch grip, instead of a clean grip, doesn’t allow the lifter to be able to ‘muscle’ the bar with the arms and upper body in the same way they could with a narrower grip. Again, this puts the focus on the hips.
In this article, I’m going to go through how to execute the hang snatch high pull along with common mistakes, variations & alternatives and finally what muscles the high snatch high pull works.
How To Hang Snatch High Pull
Start with feet hip width apart, toes straight ahead or just slightly pointed out.
Grip is wide, index finger on the snatch ring is a good starting point for most lifters – adjust as needed. Hook grip is strongly recommended although ultimately optional.
Using your legs with a good flat back, pick the bar off the floor into a standing position.
From here, set the back by squeezing the shoulder blades together and engaging the lats.
Brace the core.
Start with a slight knee bend and then hinge forward by pushing the hips back and allowing the shoulders to come either over the bar or even slightly in the front of the bar. The barbell should now be resting about mid-thigh.
You are now in the proper starting position for a hang snatch high pull.
Now, aggressively extend the hips and drive the feet through the floor. The focus is on getting complete triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles.
The shoulders will drive up and slightly behind the hips. This will cause the bar to strike the legs on the upper thigh.
As soon as full extension is reached, violently shrug the shoulders and begin pulling the bar, letting the elbows break out to the side. Pull the bar as high as possible and then guide the bar back towards the hips.
Finish the rep by catching the bar with the upper thigh or releasing the bar and letting it fall to the floor.
The most common mistake I see with athletes usually begins with having too much weight on the bar. Then, instead of extending and pulling the bar high to the chest – they will ‘dive bomb’ their chest down towards the bar.
This completely defeats the purpose of the lift. Adding weight to the bar is great, but make sure it doesn’t come at the expense of technique.
The other common mistake I see quite a bit is an athlete who focuses too much on trying to bounce the bar off the thighs.
Instead of driving the hips into the bar, they will swing the bar slightly out away from their body so that they can then swing it back in and bounce it hard off the mid thigh. This usually leads to the bar then swinging back out away from them again as opposed to vertically.
Focus on triple extension and let the bar strike come naturally.
Hang Snatch High Pull Variations
The Hang Snatch High Pull is itself a variation of the Snatch, the full movement found in Olympic weightlifting. Other common snatch variations are:
- Snatch Pull
- Hang Snatch
- Hang Power Snatch
- High Hang Snatch
- Power Snatch
All of these movements involve the same basic principles. A wide, snatch grip, and an explosive hip movement. The differences are in the starting and finishing positions.
Hang Snatch High Pull Alternatives
Have hang snatch high pull in a workout, but you’re not able to do them? Here are a few alternatives you can use in their place.
If you don’t have a barbell, try DB High Pulls. They are basically the exact same movement, but with dumbbells instead of a barbell.
Sticking with dumbbells, a DB Single Arm Snatch or High Pull is a great alternative if you have a limiting injury to one arm.
Finally, if you’re just not comfortable with the technique you can try a Med Ball Overhead Toss. Grab a med ball and start in the same starting hang position. Now explode through the hips and throw the ball as high as possible.
This is a great exercise to still work on triple extension, but without the need for a barbell or dumbbell.
Muscles Worked in a Hang Snatch High Pull
A hang snatch high pull is a true total body exercise.
The legs, posterior chain, upper back and shoulders are all highly involved. Even the core, which needs to brace and stabilize is worked on this Olympic variation.
Hang Snatch High Pulls are a great Olympic lifting movement which can help improve the explosiveness of any athlete, former athlete and weekend warrior.
Just make sure to stay focused on great technique, full hip extension and moving the bar fast.
Finally, if you need a program – make sure to check out all the currently available strength and conditioning programs.