Exercise Library
Snatch Push Press

AKA Snatch-grip push press, snatch-grip push press behind the neck
The snatch push press is a basic strength exercise for the snatch.  
Stand with the barbell behind your neck as it would be in a back squat, holding it with a snatch-width grip. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed back together and your trunk stabilized tightly. Dip smoothly at the knees and drive hard against the floor with the legs as you would for the jerk to accelerate and elevate the bar. As the bar leaves the shoulders, continue pressing it with the arms straight up into the proper snatch overhead position, locking it in tightly before lowering the bar for the next rep. Unless doing otherwise for a specific reason, drive the bar as hard as possible with the legs. Reset in a standing position before starting each rep.
Snatch pressing variations are normally done from behind the neck, so it’s unnecessary to specify behind the neck when prescribing them. Remaining flat-footed during a snatch-push press indicates that the leg drive was not powerful enough or was ceased prematurely.  
The snatch push press uses leg drive to move more weight into the overhead position and increase the strength development of the arms for the snatch receiving position. The greater weights relative to the snatch press also mean more work for the upper back and trunk. The snatch push press is also commonly used to move the bar into the overhead position for overhead squats, or in a complex with overhead squats.
The snatch push press should generally be done in sets of 3-5 reps. Typical weights will be 70-80% of the lifter’s best snatch. As a strength exercise, it should be placed toward the end of a workout. With lighter weights (or an empty bar), it can be used before snatches as a warm-up for the shoulders, elbows and wrists.
Rather than starting each rep from a still standing position, sets can be done continuously, using a bend of the legs to absorb the return of a rep to the shoulders as the dip before the leg drive of the next rep. Pauses in the overhead position, typically of 2-3 seconds, can also be used.

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lee georgeson
August 2 2015
I noticed that as they release the bar to return it to the shoulder position that they raise up on their toes again. Is this to help absorb the returning bar ?
That is correct, they are jumping up a bit to meet the bar in space and then use the legs to absorb the falling weight. I recommend controlling the bar in that decent a bit as well to prevent it from crushing you.

Steve Pan
Usui Kazuyoshi
December 19 2018
How do i prevent the barbell from landing on the cervical vertebrae of my neck when I'm returning the barbell to the starting position?
It shouldn't be placed on your neck at any point, so you need to learn to get it into the right position on the traps. Takes practice, but start with strict presses behind the neck in snatch grip to get it there.

Greg Everett