Snatch Progression for Beginners

Learning the snatch exercise can be daunting for beginners. The snatch is a complex movement that requires strength, flexibility, and coordination. However, with a proper progression plan, beginners can gradually build up their skills and technique to perform this impressive Olympic lift efficiently.

Understanding the Snatch

The snatch is a lift performed in Olympic weightlifting. It involves lifting a barbell from the ground to overhead in one swift motion. This explosive movement works multiple muscle groups, including the hips, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, and core.

Snatch Progression Exercises

Here are some snatch progression exercises that beginners can follow to develop their technique and strength:

1. Romanian Deadlifts

Start by mastering the hip hinge movement pattern with Romanian deadlifts. This exercise helps develop the posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings and glutes, which are crucial for snatching. Focus on maintaining a flat back and pushing the hips back as you lower the barbell.

2. High Pulls

Next, progress to high pulls. This exercise mimics the first part of the snatch, where the barbell travels from the floor to the mid-thigh position. Pull the barbell explosively, leading with the elbows, and focus on driving the hips forward. This movement helps develop the power and speed required for the snatch.

3. Hang Snatch Pulls

Once you’ve mastered the high pull, move on to hang snatch pulls. Start with the barbell at the mid-thigh position and, using the same explosive movement as the high pull, pull the barbell as high as possible. This exercise helps build strength and reinforces the proper pulling motion of the snatch.

4. Overhead Squats

Overhead squats are an excellent exercise for improving mobility and stability required for the snatch. Start with an empty barbell or a light weight and focus on maintaining an upright position, while squatting down as deep as possible. This exercise helps develop proper body positioning and balance during the snatch.

5. Snatch Balance

The snatch balance exercise helps beginners develop confidence and speed in getting under the bar. Start with a light weight and perform a quarter squat, before explosively pushing yourself under the bar, catching it in the overhead position. This exercise enhances the speed and precision needed to perform the full snatch.

Putting it All Together

Once you have mastered the individual exercises, it’s time to put everything together and practice the full snatch movement. Start with a light weight and gradually increase the load as your technique improves. Focus on maintaining proper form and executing each phase of the movement with control and explosiveness.


Snatch progression for beginners is all about building a solid foundation of technique, strength, and coordination. By following a well-structured progression plan and mastering the individual exercises, beginners can develop the skills necessary for performing the snatch with confidence and efficiency. Remember to always prioritize safety and consult with a qualified coach or trainer for guidance throughout your snatch journey.