The power snatch is the most basic variation of the snatch; the only difference is the height at which the bar is received.
Begin the lift exactly as you would the snatch. Once you have extended completely to accelerate and elevate the bar, pull under quickly and aggressively and fix the bar overhead in a partial squat position. The bar must be locked out overhead and all downward movement stopped with the lifter’s thighs above horizontal. The power snatch is simply a snatch without a full-depth squat to receive it.
Coaches and athletes sometimes have different definitions of what constitutes a “power” receiving position. Most commonly, anything received with the thighs horizontal or higher is considered a power lift. Others will require the knee to be bent to no more than 90 degrees, and others will count only lifts with the thighs above horizontal (i.e. a lift with thighs exactly horizontal is too low). Some lifters will also intentionally receive power snatches with a much wider foot stance than in the snatch. This makes arresting the downward movement easier, but also means that the lift cannot continue into a full squat if the bar isn’t elevated adequately.
The power snatch can be used to train speed and force production in both the second pull and the third pull by limiting the amount of time and distance the lifter has available to get under the bar. It can also be used as a lighter snatch variation for lighter training days. The power snatch can also be useful as part of a learning progression for beginners, or as a variation for individuals who are not mobile enough to sit into an overhead squat.
Power snatches should generally be programmed with 1-3 reps. They can be performed at maximal effort for training or testing at this rep range. Even at maximal weight, the power snatch can serve as a lighter exercise for lighter training days between full heavy snatch days. For speed training, weights of 60-75% are more appropriate, and for general use in lighter training days, 70-80% weights are typical.
The primary variations of the power snatch include hang power snatches and block power snatches. Straps can be used if appropriate, or they can be done with the hook grip or for grip work, no hook grip.