Uppercut, Don’t Jab Your Snatch for a Strong Finish Position

Video by Jared Enderton

Do you find yourself chasing the barbell forward on your snatch? Or maybe you feel that based on your strength and explosive power in other movements that you should be snatching more weight than you are?

Most people who have done any amount of Olympic lifting know that there are numerous things that could go wrong in a snatch. There are many points of technique and timing to focus on and even more cues to fix them. Here’s another way to think about the finish – or triple extension – of your snatch. You’ll especially love these snatch tips if you’re into boxing.

How you move into the finish of the snatch should resemble an uppercut and not a jab.

By executing the movement in this way helps ensure that you are putting your power in the right direction. In the uppercut, your body moves down, through and then up.

All too often we see people banging the bar out in front of them with their hips to finish, which looks more like a jab. Besides sending the bar out front of you so you have to either jump forward to receive it or miss the lift, performing the snatch as a jab also uses up your ankle, knee and hip extension too early in the lift, thereby lessening the explosive power you have to put into it.

How to Execute the Snatch as an Uppercut:

1) As the bar reaches mid-thigh, shift your hips forward and under the bar. This will help to tap into your full lower body power and to send the bar in the right direction (up). This “under” phase could be the key to your lifting and consistency.

You know if you’ve hit a good under phase when if your knee is directly above your toe when your hips move under the bar. Set up a video camera at your side so you can watch your snatch frame by frame and examine if this is the case.

2) Finish THROUGH the bar so that the hips squeeze through and up, thereby sending you into a slight arch behind the bar. This arch will direct the bar up and back behind you as you pull yourself under instead of out front where you have to chase it. It also sets you up for perfect timing on your extension instead of using it up too early in the lift thereby allowing you to lift more weight.