Common Mistakes in the Snatch & How to Fix Them

MARCH 17, 2023

The snatch is one of the two highly technical and demanding lifts that make up Olympic weightlifting. To execute it correctly, you require a combination of strength, power, and speed. Many weightlifters struggle to successfully perform this lift leaving them with halted progress and an increased risk of injury. Buckle up, because we’re about to take you through three common mistakes that people make with the snatch and how best you can fix them.

1) Rounding of the Lower Back

One of the most common mistakes we see with the snatch is rounding of the lower back. This can occur when weightlifters try to lift the bar too quickly or use too much of their upper body strength. Rounding the lower back can cause weightlifters to lose control of the barbell and makes it difficult to lift overhead. To fix this issue, weightlifters should focus on exercises that target the right muscle groups, such as squats and deadlifts, and practise proper technique by using lighter weight or training with resistance bands.

2) Pulling with the Arms

Another common mistake in the snatch is pulling with the arms. This can occur when lifters fail to engage their legs and hips effectively. To fix this, you should do exercises that target the legs and hips, such as box squats and front squats. Alternatively, you could attempt to combat this by practising the snatch with verbal cues from your training partner or coach such as “jump and shrug” to remind you to use the legs and hips to lift the barbell.

3) Not using Proper Grip

Not maintaining proper grip is another common mistake that weightlifters make. Failing to hold the barbell properly will lead to weak grip strength, and ultimately, will mean that you will have a breakdown in your lift. It is important that when doing the snatch you use hook grip at all times. Hook grip allows there to be more contribution to grip security and creates a system that balances the tendency of the bar to roll. This is the only way you should ever be gripping the bar - there are no excuses.

Incorporating corrective techniques into your training is crucial to fix these common mistakes and to allow for further development with your snatch overall. Consistent practise, using drills and cues to reinforce proper technique, and incorporating video analysis for feedback are all important elements to consider. Weightlifters should also seek proper coaching to help improve their snatch technique.

If you’re in need of a new coach, you’re in luck! We offer online 1-to-1 personalised Olympic weightlifting coaching delivered to you by Olympians and expert coaches. To discover more of what we can do to help you, book in a call with our team.

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