The hang snatch is a basic variation of the snatch with a number of variations and purposes.
With a snatch grip, lift the bar to the standing position. Lower the bar under control to the chosen hang position (most often mid-thigh, knee or right below the knee). Once reaching the hang position, initiate the snatch by pushing against the floor with the legs first. Drive the legs against the floor and extend the hips aggressively, keeping the bar in close proximity to the body and bringing it into contact with the hips as you reach complete extension. After extending, pick up and move your feet into your squat stance while pulling your elbows high and to the sides to move yourself down into a squat under the bar while keeping the bar and your body as close to each other as possible. Punch straight up against the bar overhead as you sit into the squat, stabilize, and recover to a standing position with the bar overhead.
High-Hang: Upper thigh
Hang: Top of knee caps
Knee: Bar at knee caps
Below knee: Bar just below knees
Straps are commonly used for hang snatch variations, particularly for multiple-rep sets, but newer lifters and those with grip weakness are discouraged from using straps to force grip strengthening.
The hang position needs to be specified when prescribing the hang snatch. Generally if no qualifier is present, a hang snatch is done from a starting position with the bar just above the knee. High-hang is usually upper thigh, mid-hang at mid-thigh, and low-hang just below the knee.
The purpose of the hang snatch can vary depending on its application. It can be an exercise to help teach beginners to snatch that is often easier than lifting from the floor because of the abbreviated movement and the ability to ensure proper positioning and balance at the start of the second pull. As a training exercise, the common purpose is to develop better force production in the extension and more aggressiveness in the pull under due to the limited time and distance to accelerate and elevate the bar. Another purpose is use as a lighter snatch variation for lighter training days (weights naturally limited for most lifters relative to the snatch, and somewhat less work for the legs and back to allow more recovery for subsequent training sessions).
Hang snatch reps should be kept to 1-3 per set. If being used for technique work, weights should remain light (around 75% or lighter); for work on aggressiveness in the extension and/or pull under the bar, heavier weights should be used (75% and above); for use as a lighter snatch variation on a lighter training day, weights can be as heavy or light as needed for the athlete at that time, but a loose guideline would be about 70-80%.
The hang snatch can be done from any hang position—any starting point above the floor itself qualifies as a hang snatch. The lift can be done with or without a pause in the hang position (i.e. with a countermovement or from a dead stop). A hang snatch can also be done by lifting from the floor directly to the hang position and pausing before initiating the snatch rather than starting from a standing position and lowering to the hang—however, this variation would be more accurately called a segment snatch or pause snatch. The lift can be done with or without straps, and can be done without the hook grip to emphasize grip strength.