The heaving snatch balance is a dynamic snatch
receiving position exercise that is a variation of the snatch balance
. It is one of three snatch balance exercises whose names are often confused with each other or used interchangeably.
The heaving snatch balance is identical to the snatch balance, with the exception that the feet start in the squat stance and remain flat against the floor throughout the movement. Start standing with the barbell behind your neck with a snatch-width grip and your feet in your squat stance. Bend the knees smoothly, maintaining balance and an upright torso, then push with the legs against the floor to create some upward momentum on the bar. Stop pushing against the floor with your legs and push aggressively against the bar to move yourself down into an overhead squat
position. Lock your elbows and secure the bar in the overhead position in as low of a squat as you can without being rock-bottom—absorb the downward force of the bar by continuing to sit the rest of the way into the squat smoothly. Making sure the bar is stable and secure overhead, stand again, keeping the bar overhead. The goal is to elevate the barbell as little as possible from its starting point on the shoulders and to move the body down under it as quickly as possible.
If you maintain the hook grip when you turn the snatch over, use the hook grip in the heaving snatch balance.
The heaving snatch balance develops strength in the receiving position for the snatch with the elements of speed, timing and precision like the snatch balance
, but the static foot position helps reinforce the proper receiving position and balance, helps the lifter practice maintaining tension against the bar at all times, and can help improve mobility. It will also help with confidence getting under heavy snatch weights.
The heaving snatch balance should be performed with sets of 1-3 reps, typically anywhere from 70-100% or more of the lifter’s best snatch (less technically proficient lifters will be able to use greater weights relative to their snatches due to low snatch weights). The exercise is usually performed best in the middle of a training session, after any snatch, clean or jerk exercises that demand more speed and technique, but before more strength-oriented exercises like pulls and squats. They can be performed before snatches with light weights as a technique primer
Two other variations of the snatch balance exist, but are really considered different exercises—the drop snatch
and the snatch balance
. The most common variation of the heaving snatch balance itself is adding a 2-3 second pause in the bottom position before standing.