Power Snatch Crossfit: How to Master This Essential Move

CrossFit routines combine a range of exercises, and the power snatch is one of the staple movements. Learning to perform the power snatch correctly can help you unlock numerous benefits, keep safe while training, while also putting a spin on regular CrossFit workouts. In this blog post, we’ll explore the form for executing the power snatch, common mistakes in performing the power snatch, tips for improving performance, benefits of including the power snatch in your routine, adding variations to the power snatch, integrating it into other exercises, nutritional guidelines for supporting performance, and safety tips. We will go through each of these elements step by step, so stay tuned!

Table of Contents

Form For Executing The Power Snatch Correctly

There are several key points to keep in mind when doing the power snatch in a CrossFit workout. We’ll cover these points and provide examples and strategies to keep in mind to help you perfect your power snatch technique.

Always Keep Arms and Legs Straight

When execution the power snatch, always keep your arms and legs completely straight throughout the move. Using the power generated solely by your hips and glutes will help you drive up the weight more efficiently. Don’t lean forward or slightly bend your arms and legs during the movement as this will break your kinetic chain and adversely affect your form.

Keep the Barbell Close to Your Body

Maintaining the barbell close to your body during the power snatch reduces the distance that the weight has to travel and helps you keep a more stable base throughout the exercise. Also, try to be aware of your breathing and maintain a steady rhythm as this will help generate more power and prevent you from getting fatigued faster.

Inside a Clamshell-Like Motion

Start the lift by swinging the barbell up until it passes the shoulders and then flips your elbows under the weight. This clamshell-like motion will allow you to engage the right muscles and have better control during the lift.

Drop Into a Partial Squat

As you ascend upward, it’s important to drop into a partial squat to maintain better form and generate more power. Coming back to the starting position and engaging your lats and squatting down with control will help to stabilize the weight and keep your form in check.

Adjust Stance Width

When performing the power snatch correctly, you must adjust your stance width depending on how advanced you are. Generally speaking, narrower stances provide more stability while wider stances allow for easier hip engagement. However, regardless of how wide or narrow your stance is, keep your head and chest up, activate your glutes and avoid any cheating or momentum-creating movements.

Practice with Lighter Weights First

It’s important to build up to heavier weights, especially when first starting out. Incorporating lighter weights and doing multiple sets of 3-5 reps will help build proper power snatch technique. As you progress in skill level and your body develops more strength and awareness, you can begin to add more weight to your lifts.

Joe Smith: Professional Powerlifter

Joe Smith is a great example of someone who has mastered the power snatch. As a professional bodybuilder and powerlifter, Smith was able to work up to a 225lb snatch with perfect form, creating beautiful muscle movements with every repetition. Seeing Joe Smith in action is an inspiring demonstration of what is possible with diligent practice and staying true to the core fundamentals of CrossFit.

Remember to Breathe and Maintain Neutral Spine

Finally, always remember to take a breath before each repetition and maintain a neutral spine throughout the entire exercise. This will help you keep good form and prevent any type of injury or strain on your body.

Following these key tips will help you execute the power snatch correctly and add more stability, control, and power to your lifts. With a little practice and patience, you can begin to build strength and gain confidence in your CrossFit power snatch technique.

Photo of Golden Cogwheel on Black Background

Common Mistakes In Performing The Power Snatch

Pulling Too Early

Pulling the bar too early is the most common mistake when performing the power snatch. This may happen if the lifter is in an incorrect posture, is using the wrong form, or is just too eager to complete the lift. Pulling too early can throw the lifter off-balance, reducing the power of the lift and making it less successful. To perform the power snatch effectively, the lifter should wait until they achieve full body extension before beginning the pull.

Not Reaching Full Extension

For a successful power snatch, it’s essential that the lifter reach full body extension. If this is not achieved, there won’t be proper form for effective power transfer and the lift won’t reach its full potential. To avoid this, the lifter must make sure to fully extend their body before starting the lift.

Not Reaching Full Lockout

Another common mistake when performing the power snatch is not finishing with full lockout. This means that the arms aren’t completely straightened after the pull. This prevents the transfer of power from the lifter’s legs and hips, leading to an inefficient and less successful lift. In order to unlock the full potential of the power snatch, the lifter must reach full lockout at the end of the pull.

Leaning Too Far Forward

Leaning too far forward when performing the power snatch can throw the lifter off-balance and make the move more difficult. It’s important for the lifter to stay upright during the lift in order to keep the weight balanced between the feet and keep the lifter from losing their balance mid-lift.

Over-Gripping the Bar

Over gripping the bar is another mistake that can be made during the power snatch. Gripping the bar too tightly can cause the lifter to pull the bar with their arms instead of their legs and hips, making the move more difficult and reducing its efficiency. To reduce over-gripping, it’s important for the lifter to focus on using their legs and hips to initiate the pull.

The power snatch is an essential move in CrossFit, but it must be performed properly in order to be successful. By avoiding these common mistakes, the lifter will be able to perform the power snatch in the most effective and efficient way possible.

power snatch crossfit

Tips For Improving Performance Of The Power Snatch

Mastering the power snatch form is one of the most difficult yet powerful exercises in CrossFit. A full and safe power snatch requires whole-body coordination and strength, and if done incorrectly you can easily risk serious injury. Here are 9 tips to help you improve your power snatch form and performance:

1. Improve Mobility

Increasing the mobility of your hip, shoulder, and ankle joints are key to a successful power snatch. Having greater range of motion in those particular movements will allow you to move the weight more efficiently and prevent injury. Start doing dynamic stretches, foam rolling, and/or yoga to improve your mobility.

2. Lighten The Load

When learning the power snatch, it is important to start off with a light weight and increase the load as you become more confident. Starting with a heavy weight before mastering the form increases your risk for injury.

3. Establish a Grip

It is important to maintain a secure and stable grip on the barbell throughout the whole movement. Gripping the bar with an overhand, or “hook” grip, is the best for power snatching. A hook grip will give you a secure hold on the bar and ensure that you can move it safely.

4. Find Your Balance

During the power snatch, your feet should be shoulder width apart and slightly pointing outward. This is important for maintaining your balance and stability, as you will be creating a lot of explosiveness during the lift.

5. Start Low

Starting the power snatch from a full squat position will help you to generate energy from your lower body to help lift the bar. Starting from the bottom allows you to make use of your leg muscles, which you will be using anyway but in a much bigger way if you start from the top.

6. Accelerate Up

In order to make the power snatch effective, you need to explosively accelerate up out of the bottom of the squat. Momentarily pause in the bottom position, breath and explode upwards as quickly as possible to make the lift easier.

7. Receive the Barbell

As you receive the barbell, your elbows should shoot up and out, and your arms should stay in the same position throughout the move. Make sure you keep your grip secure and keep your core and shoulder engaged to keep the barbell stable.

8. Suspend The Barbell

After you’ve received the barbell, try to keep it in a suspended front rack position as you stand up. Ensuring that your core and shoulder stay engaged as you stand will help to keep the bar securely suspended.

9. Practice

Practice makes perfect and it is important to drill helpful exercise to help you master the power snatch form. You can practice drills such as rack pulls, snatch balances, barbell tap swings and snatch pulls to perfect your technique.

By following these nine tips, you can help to improve your power snatch form and prevent potential injury. Mastering the power snatch is no easy task, but it is achievable. So take your time, practice safely, and you will reach your goals.

2 Women Walking Down the Path

Benefits Of Including The Power Snatch In Your Routine

The power snatch is an Olympic-style weightlifting exercise that’s gaining in popularity among athletes and gym-goers alike. With the release of the CrossFit craze, the power snatch has become a staple amongst indoor athletes looking to improve their strength, speed, and power. Even if you don’t consider yourself a CrossFitter, the power snatch can provide lots of health benefits, from increased muscle power to improved weightlifting technique.

Increased Force Development

The power snatch is an incredibly effective exercise that produces a greater force than most other forms of weightlifting. This increase in force helps the development of more effective athletic movements, improved dexterity, and a faster metabolism. As the power snatch is so effective at quickly producing force, your muscles must adapt to the varying forces of the movement, allowing your body to become stronger over time.

Improved Weightlifting Technique

The power snatch teaches you to move quickly and efficiently without compromising technique. Practicing the power snatch helps to reveal potential muscular imbalances or weaknesses, and by properly correcting your technique and improving your form, you can lift heavier over time. This can help you to become more proficient in other weightlifting movements, as the power snatch provides the perfect platform to work on speed, balance, coordination and control.

Enhanced Coordination

Performing power snatches helps to improve the accuracy, precision and control of movements. You are forced to move the weights quickly, but with proper form and control, giving you the equivalent of several other skills that can be applied to everyday life or sports activities. By practicing various power snatch exercises, you can improve your coordination, making you a better athlete and also enabling you to protect yourself against potential injuries.


There are countless examples of athletes using and benefiting from the power snatch. Take, for instance, Olympic hopeful Mark McGill, who uses power snatches as part of his exercise routine to develop strength and power.

Likewise, fitness buff Makayla Chouinard improved her posture and balance through exercises that incorporated the power snatch. Her overall health and well-being has been greatly improved by adopting power snatch exercises into her regular routine.

Injury Prevention

The power snatch enables us to increase our athleticism without having to resort to risky weights or movements. As the power snatch increases coordination and control over the middle of the body, it can help reduce the risk of traumatic injuries in sports and everyday movements. Furthermore, by increasing muscle power and efficiency, the power snatch allows you to perform exercises and sports with greater confidence and less chance of serious injury.

Including power snatches into your regular routine will help to improve overall body performance, both as an athlete or for everyday life. You’ll become stronger, faster and more efficient, as well as becoming more confident in your movements and protection from injury. Start to incorporate the power snatch into your exercise routine today, and see the results for yourself.

Person Holding Black and Silver Steel Barbell Photography

Adding Variations To The Power Snatch

As any CrossFit athlete knows, power snatches are one of the most effective full body exercises for developing strength and agility. But even the most seasoned CrossFitters can benefit from adding variations to the power snatch to keep their strength and agility development varied and challenging. There are a variety of simple variations on the power snatch that can add a brand new dimension of strength and agility to your training.

Start Off Strong: Include Tips For Mastering Starting Position, Grip, And Bar Path

The power snatch requires starting in the right position and then driving the bar up fast and hard, in order to properly engage the muscles involved and get the full benefit from the exercise. Therefore, it’s essential to practice proper starting position, grip and bar path to get the most out of this move. Working on the triple extension of your feet, legs and arms, by focusing on the right position and timing, will ensure the most effective power snatch.

Progress The Move: Introduce Different Techniques To Ramp Up The Intensity Of The Move

Once you’ve mastered the traditional power snatch, you can start to introduce different techniques such as adding a pause at the bottom of the lift, using weight needed to reach technical failure, using a narrow grip on the bar, and using heavier weights than normal. When done correctly, these techniques help build explosive power and strength by striving for the full triple extension at each lift.

Add In Accessories: Explore Ways To Incorporate Banded Snatches And Kettlebells

By incorporating accessories such as banded snatches, kettlebells and other accessories, you can make the power snatch even more intense. Adding in these accessories increases the challenge by forcing your body to stabilize the weight and work harder to maintain the same power and control throughout the movement. Incorporating banded snatches also helps to increase explosiveness, as well as engage the posterior chain more effectively.

Use Mobility To Your Advantage: Explain How Different Mobility Movements Can Improve Your Technique

Improving your mobility and flexibility can also go a long way in improving your power snatch performance. Working the mobility of your hips, hamstrings, shoulders and thoracic spine are all beneficial aspects that can help your power snatch become more effective. For example, stretching your calves and ankles will help increase the range of motion with each snatch. Doing mobility exercises such as leg swings and shoulder rotations can also help to further open your body up and increase your power output.

Master Unilateral Movements: Show Examples Of Progressions To Alternating Arms For A Stronger, More Balanced Power Snatch

When it comes to the power snatch, it is essential to acquire balance in your unilateral power movements. Alternate arms each rep, or complete the movement with alternating hands. As you get comfortable with the symmetrical movement of your power snatch, challenge yourself with alternating arms for a greater challenge and build overall strength and balance. As you become more comfortable with the alternating arms, you can progressively increase the load as you perfect your power snatch.

Increase Your Speed: Give Tips On How To Focus On Becoming Quicker As You Perfect Your Power Snatch

One of the advantages of the power snatch is the ability to move quickly and explosively. To increase your speed, focus on accelerating the bar quickly, yet maintain control throughout the movement. To do this, keep your grip narrow and recreate the correct triple extension during the movement. The muscle groups involved should be locked in position (tension) throughout the rep, while using the speed of the barbell to generate power.

Add Variety: Demonstrate Fun And Exciting Variations Like The Curtsy Power Snatch Or One-Legged Power Snatch

By incorporating kneeling and curtsy power snatches, you can add a fun, new challenge to your power snatch development. Believe it or not, adding a different variation of the power snatch can have a major impact on your power in the movement and overall strength. To do this, you’ll need to focus on the mechanics of the movement, beginning from the starting position and ensuring a good triple extension throughout the lift. Kneeling on the back foot or using one-legged variations are great ways to challenge yourself and make your power snatch even more exciting.

Students of the power snatch should always continue to practice and evolve their technique to progress and become more effective with the exercise. By adding in variations, accessories and focusing on speed, students of the power snatch can challenge their skills, strength and agility development for a more challenging and consistent workout. With all the options for power snatch development, CrossFit athletes can explore and enjoy the full benefits of the power snatch exercise.

Monochrome Photography of Woman Wearing Swimsuit

Integrating The Power Snatch Into Other Exercises

The Power Snatch has become a popular exercise in the CrossFit community, and its popularity has spread across many sports. This exercise can be used as a standalone strength exercise or incorporated into other exercises to increase their intensity. Performing the Power Snatch as a standalone exercise helps develop proper technique and build strength. This exercise can also be used as part of other exercises, including squats, deadlifts, and split squats.

When combined with other exercises, the Power Snatch can help increase intensity and push athlete performance. For example, combining squats with the Power Snatch can help increase the athlete’s power and explosiveness. Deadlifts can also be enhanced with the Power Snatch, as the explosive move helps build strength and explosiveness. Additionally, including the Power Snatch in split squats can help increase overall balance, coordination, and core stability.

Benefits of The Power Snatch

When properly performed, the Power Snatch is an incredibly beneficial exercise that can help improve muscle power and explosiveness. It also increases balance, coordination, and core stability, as the exercise requires explosive movement around the core. Additionally, the exercise helps improve conditioning and muscular endurance throughout the body, which can benefit any sport. Further, this exercise can also help increase limb speed and agility, improving an athlete’s overall movement. The Power Snatch is also great for developing correct form and proper technique, making it a key exercise for any athlete.

Executing The Power Snatch Safely & Effectively

The Power Snatch is an explosive exercise, and it’s important that it’s executed properly. To start, athletes should choose a weight that fits their fitness level, making sure not to exceed their limits. When the movement starts, it’s important the athlete stay balanced and use their legs and hips to generate power. This helps them remain upright and in the proper stance. As the bar moves upward, the athlete should fully extend their arms before pulling their elbows in. Finally, the athlete should enjoy a powerful shrug and allow the bar to rotate around their wrists.

Power Snatch Workouts

There are a variety of workouts you can do using the Power Snatch. For example, a beginner’s workout could involve sets of five reps with a light weight and an emphasis on proper technique. For more experienced athletes, a workout of eight reps of heavier weights could be beneficial. Additionally, many athletes like to include the Power Snatch into their main WOD, using it to replace a power clean or other complex movements. It’s important to always listen to your body and adjust the workout as needed.

Modifying The Power Snatch

Depending on fitness level and preferences, the Power Snatch can be easily modified. If an athlete wants to increase the difficulty, adding additional weight or reps can be beneficial. Conversely, decreasing the number of reps and weight is an easy way to make the exercise more manageable. It’s also important to make sure the athlete is performing the exercise correctly — if they are not, trying a modified version such as the kettlebell Power Snatch can help.

The Power Snatch is a great exercise for athletes looking to increase strength, power, and explosiveness. When done correctly, it can help improve performance, coordination and balance. Incorporating the Power Snatch into a regular workout routine can be extremely beneficial and is great for experienced and novice athletes alike. Adjusting the weight and reps based on individual fitness level and preferences can also help get the most out of the exercise and allow athletes to maximize their performance.

Selective Focus Photography Cement

Incorporating Nutritional Guidelines To Support Performance

CrossFit training, like any other physical activity, requires the right nutrients to support athletes. To perform their best during a workout, athletes participating in CrossFit must develop a basic understanding of their body’s nutritional needs and apply them to their daily routine. When CrossFit athletes focus on fueling their bodies properly, it can become an integral part of the training process and result in an overall enhanced performance.

When training for power snatching with CrossFit, athletes need to ensure they are meeting their nutrition requirements, so they have enough energy and fuel to support their workouts. Some nutritional guidelines that should be incorporated into the daily routine include increasing complex carbohydrates in meals to improve energy, focusing on lean proteins to support muscle growth, and avoiding processed foods that can be difficult to digest.

Nutritional Options To Support Power Snatching

In terms of specific meals, athletes should focus on a diet that provides the appropriate amount of energy without being overly heavy. This may include incorporating sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Developing a nutritional plan that is tailored to their expected physical demands and individual metabolic rates can further help maximize their performance.

A balanced breakfast may include two to four egg whites, two servings of oatmeal, and one serving of blueberries. This meal will provide plenty of complex carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle growth and repair, and nutrients from the blueberries.

Throughout the day athletes should continue to look for sources of lean protein, such as salmon, accompanied by complex carbohydrates like quinoa, and a side serving of veggies. For snacks, athletes may choose a combination of nuts and seeds to keep their energy levels up while avoiding processed foods.

Improved Performance With Nutritional Habits

While attending a CrossFit class may put the focus on the workout itself, athletes should consider having a holistic view and think about incorporating nutritional habits into their daily routine. A healthy diet in combination with regular physical activity can help support improved energy levels, overall health, and better performance.

CrossFit athletes should be mindful of the foods they are consuming, as different foods can have opposite effects on their bodies. An increase of nutritious food choices in their diet can help provide their bodies with the fuel and energy to power snatch and make the most out of the workout. In taking the time to think about their nutrition choices, CrossFit athletes can be sure to get the best out of themselves and reach their goals.

Man And Woman Jogging

Safety Tips For Performing The Power Snatch Effectively

Every CrossFit enthusiast should familiarize themselves with the power snatch exercise, especially if they are looking to perfect their technique and strength while engaging in a proper warm-up session. It is an incredibly powerful exercise and if not performed with proper form and technique, it can lead to injury. Here are some practical tips that everyone should follow in order to perform the power snatch with correct technique and safety:

Maintain Proper Form

It is incredibly important to maintain proper form when performing the power snatch, as any deviation from the correct form will increase the risk of injury. It is key to focus on keeping your back straight and not rounding your back, keeping your hips and shoulders steady, keeping your chest up and preventing your knees from collapsing inward. These are integral parts of the basic technique for any Olympic or Powerlifting exercise.

Incorporate Proper Breathing Patterns

It is also important to incorporate proper breathing patterns to ensure a safe and effective performance of the power snatch. It is recommended to exhale while performing the concentric phase of the lift and inhale while performing the eccentric part of the lift. Doing this will ensure that an athlete has maximum muscle power and strength applied during the concentric phase of the lift.

Control Weight

Whenever or not performing a load, it is important to always begin with a light weight and focus on mastering the movement pattern correctly. Doing so will help to strengthen the muscles and loosen the joints, as well as help identify improper form which can lead to injury in the long run if not corrected. Controlling the weight and slowly increasing the resistance is key to mastering the exercise and achieving results.

Support Your Grip

It is important to ensure your grip is secure throughout the exercise, therefore using straps when necessary and employing chalk to enhance your grip is recommended for athletes. A secured grip will ensure a fluid and safer performance of the exercise.

Warm UP

In order to prevent injuries and maximize the results, it is important to include a warm up routine. A dynamic warm up and foam rolling will help any athlete to increase their body awareness and improve their muscle flexibility, thus allowing them to achieve the correct movement pattern while performing the power snatch exercise.

Seek Professional Help

It is also important to seek professional help and advice when attempting to perform the power snatch. A qualified and experienced coach can give advice and guidance to ensure the correct technique is being used, as well as highlight potential risks or injuries that can arise when the exercise is not performed properly.

Monitor Technique

Finally, athletes must monitor their technique and film themselves performing the power snatch in order to review and assess the performance. Doing this will allow an athlete to identify any problems that occurred, as well as make any necessary corrections and adjustments before proceeding with any heavier weights.

By following these safety tips and paying attention to the proper form and technique, athletes will be able to effectively perform the power snatch and maximize the gains from it. Doing so will ensure a safer and more successful performance of the exercise and minimize the risk of any injuries.

Gray Dumbbell Beside Wall


The power snatch is an impressive feat of power and strength that can take your workouts to the next level. With a combination of correct form, consistent practice, added variations and corrective nutritional guidelines, you can improve your power snatch performance, increase your workout efficiency and continue to see benefits over time. Incorporating the power snatch into your existing routine is relatively easy and stress-free if you remember to always use correct form and safety guidelines. Throughout it all, practice and patience are key, as you build strength and power and take your fitness goals to the next level.

Leave a Comment