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Ask Greg: Hang Snatch Better Than from Floor
Greg Everett
November 22 2017

Andrew Asks: Hi Greg, my snatch from hang position either mid thigh or knee is doing pretty good, but when I do it from the floor, I can’t get it right, I keep thinking about shoulder over the bar, shins vertical, weight on heels. When I'm doing from hang position, I'm already in the right position. Is there any drill or tips for pulling from the floor without over thinking everything?

Greg Says: The best correction for over thinking is practicing until you don’t have to think. Of course, the trick to that is knowing what and how to practice. In this case, it sounds like what you need to work on is moving from the floor into the proper position at mid-thigh. You seem to know that correct position when you enter it from the hang.

Snatch segment deadlifts and halting snatch deadlifts will probably be the best exercises for this. Make the top pause position for both mid-thigh—the point at which you’ll ideally initiate the final upward explosion (second pull). In this position, your shins should be vertical, shoulders at least slightly in front of the bar, back arched tightly, head and eyes forward, and weight slightly behind the middle of the foot—don’t get all the way back on your heels. Often athletes get their weight too far back in this position, and it results in a few potential problems, such as shifting too far forward in compensation, jumping back out from under the bar, or sweeping the feet back and landing on the toes.

For segment deadlifts, hold 1 inch off the floor, right at the knee, and at mid-thigh. At the 1 inch position, your shoulders should be directly above the bar and your weight slightly more on the heels than the balls of the feet; at the knee, the shoulders should still be directly above the bar and weight slightly more on the heels than the balls of the feet; and at mid-thigh, the position should be the same as described above.

Hold all pause positions for 3 seconds, and don’t rush the movement between pauses. A controlled speed will ensure you’re moving correctly and that constant tension will strengthen the positions and teach you awareness of those positions better.

Then, use complexes to train the lift itself. The first you can try is a 3-position snatch starting from the top down—do the first rep from mid-thigh, the second from the knee, and the last from the floor. This will start you off in the most comfortable position for you, then gradually add more distance.

Another is a 2-position snatch, or hang snatch + snatch, again at mid-thigh first, then the floor.

Then you try segment snatches. Perform a halting snatch deadlift to mid-thigh and hold for 3 seconds, then snatch from this mid-thigh position. I recommend following any segment snatches with a normal snatch to help avoid the development of any hitching from the exercise. For example, do 1 or 2 segment snatches + 1 snatch each set.

A final exercise is the slow-pull snatch. You can think of this as basically a segment snatch without the pause. You will simply move very slowly into the mid-thigh position and then snatch without pausing.