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Exercise Library: Scarecrow Snatches

This week we have been working a lot on technique drills at the club. So we thought a nice quick snatch correction exercise would be a good addition to the exercise library!

The scarecrow snatch helps you to work on your ability to get under the bar quickly and with correct technique.

This exercise is done with lighter weight as the start position involves you holding the bar at chest height with snatch grip, elbows high. We like to start on the toes so that you can drop straight under the bar in to the overhead squat position, by moving downwards as you jump your feet out wider. A regression of this movement would be to start with the feet flat so that you can perform a small drive from the lower body. Another would be to slowly increase the squat depth if you struggle with getting to a full depth overhead squat this quickly.

The main aim is to drop down fast so your arms lock out as your feet hit the floor. Focus on your elbows being high and make sure they move upwards and not backwards as the bar elevates. A good scarecrow snatch will show minimal upward movement of the bar.

Practice the scarecrow snatch as part of your snatch warmup routine, more regularly if you struggle with a snappy turn-over. Try 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps.

Here is a video of a few scarecrow snatches from the club to illustrate the movement!

If you have any questions about this exercise or anything else or to book your place in a class, please email us at

- Team Canterbury Strength

Ref: Olympic Weightlifting - A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches, Greg Everett


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