Tip: Do the Power Snatch from the Hang

It's the single best exercise for power athletes. Here's why and how to do it.

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A power athlete is someone competing in sports requiring a high level of speed and explosiveness. Think football, sprinting, throwing, or jumping events. If you do it properly, the power snatch from the hang is one of the best tests of your athletic capacity. Of all the lifting exercises, it's the one with the highest power production level. It also requires good overall coordination and full shoulder mobility.

Power Snatch from the Hang

  1. Keep the back tight.
  2. When the bar is at the knees jump up (not forward, not backwards).
  3. Keep the bar close to the body at all times.

There's no need to go heavy on this movement. The key is acceleration, and lots of it. Only add weight if you can maintain proper technique and maximum acceleration.

From the hang, the bar starts at the knees instead of from the ground and you catch it with minimal squatting under the bar. Instead of lowering the bar to the knees yourself, you can place the bar on lifting blocks which will place it at the knees. This is a power snatch from blocks. The difference between the power snatch from the hang and power snatch from blocks is that in one you start the exercise by reversing the action of the barbell (hang) and in the other you start against an inert bar (blocks). The former will develop more reactive strength and the capacity to rapidly switch from eccentric to concentric work. The latter will develop more starting strength.

The power snatch is obviously a complex lift. If you can't do the movement properly, it's not the best for you until you get some coaching.

To build maximum power and explosiveness:  Use a load that's 70-80% of your 1RM. We want all reps to be violently explosive, so sets of 2-3 reps are best.

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.