Tip: Do the Muscle-Snatch for Strength & Power

It's the easiest Olympic-style lift to learn and it'll turn you into a badass. Here's how to do it.

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The muscle snatch is the Olympic-style lift for people who just aren't interested in doing the full Olympic lifts. The muscle snatch is, essentially, the bodybuilder's Olympic lift. With the muscle snatch, we get rid of all the things that turn many people off from Olympic lifting.

There's no "catch" with the wrists bent backward and there's no complicated technique required, like squatting deeply under the bar as it rises. You simply yank the bar from the floor or from the hang or blocks. As it gets to your neck you quickly whip the elbows under the bar while it's still moving and overhead press it. In other words, you muscle it up.

  • Phase 1: Explosive high pull to the neck, focusing on keeping the bar as close to the body as possible.
  • Transition: When it reaches its target (neck/clavicle), make a lightning-fast switch to...
  • Phase 2: The fastest overhead press you can do.

Unlike other Olympic lifts, you don't explode up with the legs – your feet don't leave the floor. You push hard with the legs, but there's no jumping to create momentum.

Letting the bar drift away from your body. If the bar is too far away from you there's no way you can be in a good position to press it up after the turnaround.

Pulling it too high (face level instead of neck/clavicle) and finishing the movement as a loaded external rotation instead of as a press.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.