The Hang Power Snatch: Step-by-Step Guide and Video Tutorials

By Matt Walter
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Learn how to perform and program the hang power snatch

The hang power snatch is a simplified variation of the hang snatch and the full squat snatch. It is an Olympic weightlifting movement that is used to build explosive power and strength. It is a challenging exercise, but it can be mastered with targeted practice and consistency.

In this guide, we will break down the movement step-by-step and provide you with all the information you need to execute it safely and effectively. We will also discuss some of the benefits of this exercise and provide tips for improving your technique. Let’s get started!

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Table of Contents

Video: Hang Power Snatch Tutorial

How to Perform the Hang Power Snatch: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Approach your barbell and assume a snatch grip (see Hang Power Snatch Tips below if you do not know how to find your snatch grip). Use the far knurl lines to help orient and standardize your snatch grip.

Form Tip: even if the Olympic lifts are new for you, use a hook grip. It will be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it.

Step 2: lift the bar to the standing position. Heels should be hip-width apart (hip width stance) and the bar should be in contact with your body.

Step 3: Keeping your arms straight, chest up, core tight, neutral spine, and back muscles engaged, lower the bar under control to your chosen hang position (most often mid-thigh, knee, or just below the knee).

Step 4: Begin the movement by pushing with your legs, driving your feet through the floor, and aggressively extending your hips. Keep the bar close to your body and bring it into contact with your hips as you reach full extension, driving up onto your toes.

Technique Tip: don’t slam the bar against your hips. Instead, imagine scooping your hips under the barbell to send it flying straight up toward the ceiling.

Step 5: After reaching full extension, pull yourself under the barbell by bringing your elbows high and wide toward your ears. At the same time, bring your feet up off the floor and slide them out to your squat stance.

Step 6: Catch the barbell over your head with your arms fully extended (locked) and with your legs in a partial squat position.

Step 7: Punch straight up against the overhead barbell, and end your squat with your thighs above parallel. Recover to a fully standing position with the bar overhead.

Video: Christian Thibaudeau Performs the Hang Power Snatch

Hang Positions

High-Hang: Upper thigh, just below the hip crease

Hang (or mid-hang): Anywhere from knees to mid-thigh

Low-Hang: Anywhere off the floor to below the knees

Points of Performance for Hang Power Snatch

From the hang position, pull the bar into your body and aggressively jump, extending your hips, knees, and ankles (which we call triple extension).

Shrug your shoulders and bring your elbow high and outside the bar and pull yourself under the barbell. Receive the barbell over your head by punching up against the barbell.

Receive the bar in a partial overhead squat with your arms locked directly over your head.

Catch the barbell with your thighs above parallel (hip crease above your knees).

Drive through the tripod foot back to a standing position.

The hang power snatch is completed when your knees and hips are fully locked out and your joints are stacked one on top of the other (wrists over elbows, elbows over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, knees over ankles).

Hang Power Snatch Tips

The following tips will help you perfect your hang power snatch form and technique.

Find Your Snatch Grip

Grab a barbell with a very wide grip and stand. Adjust your hand width until the barbell sits in your hip crease with your arms fully extended and your back muscles fully engaged. This should be close to your perfect snatch grip. Notice where your hands are in relation to the knurl lines. These will help you grab the bar in the same place every time.

Use a Hook Grip

Even if you are just learning the Olympic lifts, use a hook grip. The hook grip prevents the barbell from flying out of your hands mid-lift.

Use Bumper Plates

The Olympic lifts typically begin and end on the floor. All bumper plates have the same diameter regardless of their weight and are designed for the Olympic lifts. Using bumper plates and beginning every rep from the same height off the floor will help solidify your technique.

Bumper plates have the same diameter and are designed to handle being dropped to the floor

Bumper plates also allow you to drop the weight from overhead without damaging your flooring or barbell.

Consider Using Straps

Straps may be used when performing the hang power snatch. These can be especially helpful during multiple-rep sets. If you are a beginner or need to improve your grip strength, however, you should avoid using straps. Do not use straps until you are a more advanced lifter.

Hang Power Snatch Purpose

There are many reasons to use the hang power snatch instead of the power snatch or squat snatch. The hang power snatch is great for teaching beginners to snatch! The abbreviated movement is often easier than lifting from the floor. There is less to think about than when lifting from the floor because we eliminate the first pull, and it is easier to ensure proper positioning and balance from the second pull through triple extension.

The power receiving position is also easier to balance than the full squat and requires less hip and ankle mobility.

The hang power snatch gives you less time and distance to accelerate the bar. This can be used to improve force production through the second pull of the movement and help you learn to aggressively pull yourself under the barbell.

The hang power snatch can also be used for lighter training days. You will be able to lift the most weight with the full snatch (from the floor, all the way to a full squat beneath the barbell). The hang power snatch will allow you to work on your snatch technique with lighter weights, which can increase your overall training volume with the movement. The hang power snatch also places less demand on the legs and back, allowing them to rest.

Programming the Hang Power Snatch

Hang power snatch reps should be kept to 1-3 per set. Rarely perform up to 5 reps per set, but not more.

For technique work: Keep your weights light, around 75% of your max or lighter.

For aggressiveness in the extension and/or pull under the bar: use heavier weight, around 75% of your one-rep max and above.

For light training days: use your best judgment, but 70-80% is a good guideline.

For speed work: keep weights in the 65-75% rep range.

Prior to Learning the Hang Power Snatch

The overhead squat is a great exercise to learn prior to attempting the Olympic lifts. it will get you comfortable moving your body and squatting while holding a barbell overhead.

The Overhead Squat Video Demonstration

Attempting to learn how to snatch on top of a poor foundation is a recipe for disaster!

Learning the Hang Power Snatch for CrossFit

The hang power snatch makes regular appearances in CrossFit WODS. CrossFit has done a lot to popularize the Olympic lifts for the general population and has emphasized the importance of the Olympic lifts for overall strength and fitness.

CrossFit WODs often prescribe the hang power snatch for high reps, which is not what this movement was designed for. That doesn’t make it bad or wrong, just be cautious with your technique and “chasing the clock.”

The Olympic lifts build power, strength, and athleticism. But they are complex. Take your time, be patient, work with an empty barbell or PVC pipe while you’re learning, and remember that technique is far more important than how much weight you’re lifting.

If you have questions, as your coach! Good CrossFit coaches will help you with technique and how to modify the exercise for the Workout of the Day.

Hang Power Snatch Variations

The hang power snatch can be done from any hang position. Technically, any starting point above the floor qualifies as a hang power snatch.

The lift can be done with or without a pause in the hang position. Pausing can be a great way for new lifters to learn each portion of the movement.

There are two ways to do the hang power snatch. You can either lift the weight from the floor directly to the hang position and then pause before initiating the power snatch (technically called a segment snatch or pause snatch). Or you can start from a standing position and lower the weight to the hang position as described in the How to.

Get the Gear for Your Home Garage

I love having my own equipment at home. This was especially helpful when my wife and I had our first baby. I was able to work out when it was convenient for our new family situation. And when the Pandemic hit, I didn’t have to worry about it. It’s a bit expensive in the beginning, but far cheaper than gym memberships over the long run.

Bumper Plates

Titan Fitness 230-pound Economy Bumper Plate Set – This is the set I have at home.

Rogue Crumb Bumper Plates – Crumb bumpers are amazing for home gyms! They are incredibly durable and are much quieter than typical bumper plates. And, if you plan on training outside at any point, these are the plates you need.

Titan Fitness 230-Pound Elite Bumper Plate Set – This set is more expensive than the last, but they are incredible.

Barbells

Again Faster Team Barbell 2.0 – This is the barbell I have and use at home.

Rogue Bar 2.0 – This is another incredible all-purpose barbell. Some of my closest friends own this one and use it as their daily bar.

Titan Fitness Olympic Barbell – My local CrossFit gym has this barbell and I use it often. It’s a great all-purpose barbell.

Rogue IWF Approved Olympic Weightlifting Bar – if you need a true, dedicated Olympic lifting bar, you won’t be the quality or price of this one. It comes in both 28mm and 25mm shaft diameters, designed for male and female competitors.

Power Racks

Titan Fitness Power Rack – this is an inexpensive power rack that will do everything you need, and it has pins in the back for weighing down with plates

Titan Fitness Bolt-Down Power Rack – this is very similar to the rack I have at home, which I bought through a local company near my house. If you are going to use your cage for dynamic movements like muscle-ups, get one that can bolt to the floor.

Conclusion: The Hang Power Snatch

The hang power snatch is a quick and efficient variation on the classic Olympic lift that can be used for beginner, technique work, or light training days. It may also help you to improve force production in your second pull of the movement while helping you learn how to aggressively pull yourself under the barbell. Hang power snatch reps should not exceed 5 per set unless it’s part of an advanced strength-building program.

What is your favorite way to add the hang power snatch to your training?

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AUTHOR

Matt has been a personal trainer for more than 18 years. He is also a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, has a master's degree in teaching, and is a former competitive powerlifter and CrossFit athlete. His passion is helping others get in shape from mid-life and beyond.

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