The snatch is the first of two lifts contested in the sport of weightlifting (also known as Olympic weightlifting). The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion.

There are four main styles of snatch used: squat snatch (or full snatch), split snatch, power snatch, and muscle snatch. The squat snatch and split snatch are the most common styles used in competition while power snatch and muscle snatch are mostly used for training purposes.

In the squat snatch, the lifter lifts the bar as high as possible and pulls themselves under it in a squat position, receiving the bar overhead with the arms straight, decreasing the necessary height of the bar, therefore increasing the amount of weight that the lifter may successfully lift.

In the split snatch, the lifter lifts the bar as high as possible and pulls themselves under the bar similar to the squat snatch but in the split snatch the lifter “splits” his legs, placing one foot in front of them and one behind, allowing themselves to receive the bar lower as in the squat snatch.The split snatch has become much less common with the increased popularity of the squat snatch but is occasionally performed by some lifters.

In the power snatch, the lifter lifts the barbell as high as possible and receives the bar overhead with only a slight bend in the knee and hip, increasing the height that the bar must be lifted and decreasing the amount of weight that may be successfully lifted.

In the muscle snatch, the lifter lifts the bar all the way overhead with arms locked out and the hip and knee fully extended.

Application to Other Sports

The snatch is also commonly used as a tool for training athletes in a variety of sports especially with athletes in sports where powerful full body movement is required such as throwing, sprinting, running, and jumping. The triple-extension in the snatch (simultaneous extension of the knee and hip, and plantar flexion at the ankle) mimics the movements previously mentioned while requiring the athlete to produce large amounts of power at high velocities.

The snatch has an average velocity of 1.52–1.67 m/s. This makes it a quality lift for training speed-strength in which the athlete aims to move a light weight (25–40% 1RM) at its fastest velocity (1.1 m/s-1.65 m/s).


Taken from Wikipedia.