top of page


Exercise Library: Snatch High Pull

End position of high pull

The purpose of this exercise is to practice achieving maximum extension through the legs. This will help you get the bar high enough to pull yourself under and catch it in an overhead squatwhen you snatch.

The focus is on producing power by extending the hips, knees, and ankles together in order to move the bar upwards on the most vertical path possible. The snatch high pull also trains strength, speed, power, posture, and balance. 


  • Set up as you would in the snatch (torso upright, shoulder blades back and tight, arms slack)

Snatch start position - start of high pull
  • Push with your legs to initiate the lift, making solid contact through your feet to the floor

  • Maintain the same back angle until the bar passes the knees

  • At mid- to upper-thigh, accelerate the bar aggressively by extending at the hips, knees and ankles (as you would in a vertical jump) 

  • Keep the bar close to your body so that it meets your hip crease as it travels upwards

  • Focus on keeping the bar path vertical; you may have to lean backwards slightly to stay balanced

Position with bar at knee
  • As you reach full extension, pull your elbows up and to your sides, pointing up to the ceiling (knuckles facing down to the floor) 

  • Your heels should lift off the floor at the top of the extension, but keep pushing down into the balls of the feet until the bar has reached maximum height 


The goal is to elevate the elbows as much as possible, bringing the bar to just below chest height.

To maintain proper position, focus on lifting the elbows rather than the bar, but do not pull with the arms before you reach maximum extension at the hips. 

Bar at hip

The difference between a "high pull" and a "pull" is that the arms are engaged and pulling upwards following the extension of the body.

Do not over extend the hips as this will cause the bar to travel forwards and out in front. The bar must stay as vertical as possible. 


Perform the snatch high pull for 2 - 5 reps per set. Choose a weight at 70% - 90% of your best snatch to allow the elbows to reach maximal height.

High pulls require speed and technique, and so are best placed before heavier strength exercises like squats. It can also be used before snatches as a technique primer. 

Here is a video showing snatch high pulls from the club, and below, another from Catalyst Athletics, our other favourite source.

- Team Canterbury Strength


bottom of page