Snatch Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Snatch is a strength exercise that works your hamstrings.

Snatch is a great moderate move. When done correctly, it can effectively target your legs, lower body and upper legs.

It requires barbell to do.


How to do Snatch


Stand over barbell with balls of feet aligned under bar hip width or somewhat narrower than hip width apart. Squat down and grab bar with very broad overhand grasp. Place elbows over bar with neck arched closely. Arms are straight with elbows pointing around board.


Begin standing with a weighted barbell in a wide, overhand grip at mid-thigh level. Bend your knees slightly and tighten your back muscles. In one continuous motion, draw the bar up over your chest and receive the bar overhead with your arms straight. At the top, straighten your legs. Hold a moment before returning the bar.


  • The snatch is one coordinated, continuous movement executed with speed. The grip should be wide enough to allow for full squat with bar at arms length over head. Hook grip is used by advanced lifters to maintain grip during snatch. Do not jerk weight from floor; arise steadily then accelerate. The lift is complete when bar is under control over head. also known as Squat Snatch. Also see:

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do snatch from this step-by-step illustrations:

Snatch 1
Snatch 2
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Snatch 10

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for snatch may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for snatch are:

Primary Muscles

  • Hamstrings

Synergyst Muscles

  • Triceps
  • Quadriceps
  • Spinal Erectors

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Snatch work?
Snatch works hamstrings.
What is Snatch good for?
Snatch is beneficial for conditioning, to build muscle, to gain weight, to grow and to strengthen. It works the best for legs, lower body and upper legs, as it works hamstrings. Snatch is a great strength exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Snatch a good exercise?
Snatch is a popular strength exercise for hamstrings.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Snatch faster?

Snatch Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Snatch and how should you?

Snatch Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Snatch Alternatives


Wonder how to make Snatch either easier or more challenging?

Snatch Variations

Discover more


Type(s) Strength, Compound, Crossfit, Weightlifting
Muscles Worked Biceps Femoris, Triceps Brachii, Quadriceps, Erector Spinae
Difficulty Level(s) Moderate
Equipment Barbell
Location At Gym

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Hamstrings
Synergyst muscle(s) Triceps, Quadriceps, Spinal Erectors

Related exercises

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