The Power Snatch offers unique benefits for athletes and ambitiously training people. However, the Power Snatch requires time and effort to learn until you can fully reap the benefits.
What are Power Snatches
Power Snatches are a derivative of the competitive exercise Snatch in Olympic Weightlifting. Olympic weightlifters use the Power Snatch as one of the training exercises to improve the Snatch.
The Power Snatch has made its way into Strength and Conditioning or physical preparation, because it is easier to learn and execute than the regular Snatch, but offers the same benefits of a Snatch.
Power Snatch vs Snatch: What is the difference between a Power Snatch and a Snatch
The Snatch is one of the two exercises in Olympic Weightlifting, where the weight is brought from the ground overhead. Usually, the weight is caught in a full and deep position with the bar fixated overhead before the athlete stands back up.
The following video shows a Snatch.
The only difference in the Power Snatch vs the Snatch is that the weight is caught in a higher position, roughly speaking with a knee angle of 90 degrees or above parallel (this terminology refers to the upper part of the thigh being parallel with the ground).
The following video shows the same athlete as above performing a Power Snatch, have a look you can clearly see the higher catch position compared to the video above.
Power Snatch vs Hang Power Snatch: What is the difference between a Power Snatch and a Hang Power Snatch
Now you know the difference between a Power Snatch vs Snatch, the next question that I hear often is ‘What is the difference between a Power Snatch and a Hang Power Snatch?’
The difference between a Power Snatch vs a Hang Power Snatch is the start position, in the Power Snatch you start the movement from the ground, in the Hang Power Snatch, you start the movement from the hang. The bar is literally ‘hanging’ in front of you. Check out the video
The same athlete as in the previous videos, notice how she gets the bar in the start position and starts the Power Snatch with the bar above the knees.
You can vary the hang position, depending on your desired goal. You can do
- Hang on height of shins
- Hang below knees
- Hang above knees
- Hang on height of mid-thigh
- Hang from hip
What Power Snatches Do For You
The Power Snatch has numerous benefits, which I have outlined in the article The Importance of Power Snatches
In a nutshell, the Power Snatch works on fundamental movements, such as bending and extending, squatting and stabilizing.
The Power Snatch trains the so-called triple extension, which is the extension of hip, knee and ankle, which is important for all sport where running, jumping or throwing is involved.
But not only does the Power Snatch work on expressing force, as in the triple extension, during the catch phase of the lift, the Power Snatch also works on absorbing forces effectively. This is important in sports where athletes have to decelerate and accelerate quickly, for example when changing direction, landing, etc
And an often overlooked aspect of training the Olympic lifts or their derivatives, such as the Power Clean or Power Snatch is the psychological aspect, I have outlined that in
Because the athlete does not only have to commit to the lift within milliseconds, furthermore the athlete has to bring his body under the weight to control the weight, which can be very scary. The fact, that the athlete has to commit to bring his body quickly under the bar enhances their ability to express courage. Believe me I have seen athletes grow over time with this challenge and I have also seen the opposite.
Have a look at Justin, how quickly and committed he brings his body under the bar.
How to do a Power Snatch
In order to train the Power Snatch, mastery of the Power Snatch technique is a pre-requisite. Have a look at the video tutorial on how to do a Power Snatch, emphasizing the different phases of the Power Snatch and its’ technical execution.