Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting



Find Your Snatch Grip Width

There are quite a few complex methods of determining snatch grip width, and I’ll argue that none is worth the time or effort. Any method that relies on measurements of the upper body is essentially pointless.

The 2 points that actually matter are first, ensuring the bar actually clears your head when overhead, and second, where the bar contacts your body in the pull.

The length of your arms is irrelevant except in its relationship to the length of your trunk, which is why measuring the arms and/or shoulders is a waste of time.

Simply grip the bar at a width that places it in the crease of the hip when holding it at arms’ length. This means the bar contacts soft tissue between the anterior superior iliac spines and the pubic bone.

Hold that grip overhead and ensure you have clearance for your noggin, and you’re done.

For unusual proportions, you’ll need to adjust by feel from this optimal position.

If you have very long arms and a short torso, you’ll likely have such a wide grip that it’s too stressful on your wrists—bring your grip in slightly until it’s comfortable.

If you have very short arms and a long torso, your grip may be too narrow—widen it slightly until it’s comfortable and make sure it’s not hitting your hip bones.

Wider grips mean less distance for the bar and body to travel and a quicker turnover, but means more stress on the wrists, less stability in the shoulders and more strain on the grip.

Narrower grips are easier on the wrists, more stable for the shoulders, and easier on the grip, but mean longer, slower turnovers and more distance for the bar and body to travel.

Each lifter needs to find the grip that allows optimal interaction of the bar and body, and allows adequate stability and comfort overhead.

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