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Exercise Library: Snatch Balance

snatch balance, overhead squat position
Luciana practicing Snatch Balances at the club

Snatch balances are used to practice the speed of the drop and also to improve the confidence and comfort of the lifter in the receive positon (overhead squat) of a snatch.


Set up

  • Barbell on back of shoulders

  • Hands at snatch grip, elbows pointing down, hook grip

  • Feet about shoulder width apart or at the same distance as you would use for pulls

  • Looking straight ahead, torso upright and tension maintained throughout movement


  • “dip and drive” – bend the knees slightly an then drive up, pushing through the floor and in to the bar

  • At the peak of the drive allow the feet to jump out wider in to your squat stance

  • At the same time as moving your feet push up against the bar with your arms and lower yourself in to an overhead squat/snatch receive position. The aim here is to drop right to the bottom of your overhead squat as quickly as you can whilst maintaining good positions, you want to ensure that you move yourself under the bar, rather than pushing the bar upwards, do this by trying to keep the bar from moving above the initial shoulder height as much as is possible

  • Elbows locked, torso upright (“big chest”, “chest parallel to wall),solid and secure overhead position

  • Stand back up just as you would for a snatch or overhead squat

Pushing the bar up, for example by a power jerk and then carrying out an overhead squat does not have the same purpose as a snatch balance. Always aim to drop low,quickly, as you push up against the bar.

Snatch balances are a great warmup if done with light weights before full snatches. They can also be used as an exercise in your program. If you wish to put these in a session, carry out sets of 1-3 reps at 70-100% or even heavier than your best snatch. They should be done after full lifts but before heavy strength exercises.

Here is another good demo video from Catalyst Athletics as well as an article on Snatch Balances from their own exercise library:

If you have any questions about snatch balances or any other exercises please message us!

- Canterbury Strength


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