How to Do Snatch: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Snatch exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Barbell Snatch

Muscles worked in the barbell snatch exercise

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Snatch

  1. Step up close to the bar, so that it is about over the middle of your foot.
  2. Lean forward and grip the bar with a wide overhand grip, close to the weight plates.
  3. Hold your breath, brace your core slightly, and lower your hip closer to the floor.
  4. Lift the bar in a smooth but fast motion, by extending your legs and knees simultaneously.
  5. Once the bar has reached maximum speed, squat down deep and catch the bar on straight arms over your head.
  6. When you’ve got control of the bar, stand up straight.
  7. Lower the bar in front of you, with control.


The snatch is a classic barbell exercise, and also one of the competition lifts in weightlifting. Snatch develops your explosive strength (power) in the lower body, since you need to get the bar moving so fast in such a short amount of time, that it comes high enough for you to catch it.

A slightly easier variant of the exercise is the power snatch, in which you don’t catch the bar in such a deep squat position.

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Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.