The Types of Snatch | Olympic Weightlifting

The snatch is a complex exercise, in weightlifting that requires precision and skill. It’s important to recognize that there is more than one method because athletes have different body proportions and strengths. In this article, we explore three ways of executing the snatch and discuss the features of each style.

1. European Style:

  • Start Position: Athletes typically position their shoulders slightly over the bar, hips a bit lower than the knees, and the barbell close to the shins.
  • Second Pull: This style emphasizes power and technique, with athletes ensuring their arms remain straight during the second pull, knees come under the bar, and shoulders are kept right above the barbell or even behind the bar for some.
  • Receiving Position: Athletes focus on maintaining a straight torso and shins, with arms straight and shoulders in a normal position (without excessive shrugging or internal rotation). The lockout involves a more focus on elbows.
  • Characteristics: The European style places emphasis on power and technical precision. Athletes employing this style showcase significant power during key phases like the second pull and turnover. They tend to have strong legs and excel in power snatch and power clean exercises by being able to do around 85-90% of their 1 rep max in full snatch and clean and jerk.

2. Chinese Style (No Foot Style):

  • Start Position: Athletes adopting this style often position their shoulders in line with or slightly behind the bar, opting for hips lower than the knees for greater emphasis on leg strength.
  • Second Pull: Similar to the European style, the arms stay straight during the second pull, and the knees come under the bar. However, athletes in this style often maintain the barbell extremely close to their thighs.
  • Receiving Position: The receiving position maintains a straight torso and shins, with shoulders in a normal position. Athletes execute a smooth and controlled extension, displaying pretty same speed from the ground to the finish.
  • Characteristics: The Chinese style emphasizes strength, particularly in the legs. Athletes using this style maintain a consistent speed throughout the snatch, exuding confidence during barbell contact.

3. Bull Snatch Style:

  • Start Position: Athletes adopting this style significantly position their shoulders over the bar, with hips positioned higher. This style is tailored to utilize hips and upper body strength more than the legs.
  • Second Pull: Athletes prioritize the use of hips and upper body during the second pull, with a preference for contact at the hips and straighter knees in the power position.
  • Receiving Position: Athletes adopting the bull snatch style display a unique receiving position with the chest and head leaning further forward and the barbell positioned slightly more towards the back. The shoulders are internally rotated.
  • Characteristics: Athletes using the bull snatch style showcase remarkable upper body strength, excelling in exercises such as muscle snatches, push presses, strict presses, and everything related to upper body strength. They tend to have stronger upper bodies and perform well in deadlifts but we don’t see too often this athlete exceeding at squats.

In conclusion, each snatch technique has its advantages. It’s important for athletes to find the style that suits their body proportions and strengths. It’s crucial to adapt and refine your technique to enhance performance and achieve your goals. Please feel free to share in the comments which style resonates with you or if you have an approach that works best for you. Discovering and perfecting your style is essential, for becoming a weightlifter. Thank you for reading this article and if you want to see the full video version check it out at the below link. 

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