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Drop Snatch/Snatch Balance


should they be as fast with the bar as they are with weight?

i'm wondering whether pushing yourself down against a load is what helps you beat the bar...
(so faster with weight)

or whether it is more about being loose for the descent then tightening up at the bottom...
(so the same speed?)

or some combo of both.


The bar shouldn't move too much but this depends on your flexibility. Essentially, you're pushing yourself under the bar. A combo of both the things you mentioned should be used. Don't stay too tight as you push yourself down into the catch as it might slow you down.

You're just dropping, gravity will do most of it but attack the bar to give yourself a little more speed, note that you are in a free fall so pushing on the bar shouldn't push it up but you down. Don't stay too loose because it might make it hard to tightly lock the weight out up top and may end up keeping your hips loose then you get a butt-wink or whatnot. I find that when done correctly it happens too quickly for you to really loosen up that much in the descent.




Would it be useful to practice with a stick or does some physical law or something mean it would have little carryover?

(With respect to pushing against negligable weight and the relative speed of your descent, I mean)


I've been doing these and I would like to add some weight but damn I just can't get the bar lowered back on to my shoulders without difficulty.

I found it easiest with just the bar and I slow down with weight but I haven't been doing them long.


Alexus, those looked great. I don't think that you would get any benefit from using a broomstick, you look to be past that initial neurological adaptation phase that only a broom stick would yield improvements. You have a pretty tight catch (only a little wobble and forward pitching of the bar) so I would say try to go up a little in weight every few sn workouts. As it gets heavier you might need to do a quick dip and pop before you push under.

Deb, one way to deal with catching the weight on your back is to drop a little to do a kind of assisted catch where your legs absorb most of the weight and not so much your shoulders. Here's a decent example, but I think it should looks a little more smooth than this, especially with lighter weight. It's really like the rest of the lifts where it's a lot of timing and practice will make it perfect.

There's probably better videos out there to watch but I found these quickly and I think they get the point across well enough. Good luck lifting and keep up the great work!


oops - that isn't me, dexter. that is some random dude i found on youtube. i posted it because that is what i'm aiming to do.

i've read some controversy over 'drop snatch' and 'snatch balance'. i thought they were different names for the same exercise but now i'm starting to think they might look a little different.

in the vid i posted he doesn't push press the bar at the start at all. he simply drops under it fast enough to achieve lockout. that is what i want to do. to learn to get speed under the bar. from standing initially. then incorporating hip drive from the hang. finally from the floor. i want my snatches to be fast since i'm not particularly strong lol.

in the vids you posted people didn't seem to be trying to beat the bar down. guess they were practicing their balance in the catch rather than the speed of their descent. of course there's not much point beating the bar if you fall over in the catch. still, my primary aim is speed.

neurological gains, yep. it is as hard for me mentally (just imagining the exercise) to drop fast under it as it is for me to actually attempt to drop fast under it. i remember this feeling from learning powercleans lol.


thanks debra. waiting for my shoes to come back so my squats are non-existent or very unbalanced at the moment. sounds like i should try getting good with the stick before i put the weight up. guess i just wasn't sure if it was possible. dunno why but the vid i posted looked like some kind of visual illusion to me. then i got to thinking that maybe you need the weight on the bar in order to push yourself down that fast or something. i can beat the stick, though. just need to practice a lot.


Dexter, thanks, I will give that a shot.

Alexus, can't say if I'm doing it right but I've been just trying to drop under the bar as fast as possible but I do have a bit of a dip and drive to push the bar off my shoulders before I drop. Initially I had a piece of tape on the wall behind me I could see in the mirror and did it until I could keep the bar beneath the line. Looking at my video I have a bit of a jump in there.

Here's my vid (but probably not an example to follow!)


Alexus, there are variations of this at cathletics.com:

Pressing Snatch Balance

Heaving Snatch Balance

Snatch Balance

Drop snatch (I can't see any video with this one)


Damn you got a nice deep bottom position! I got to go to the gym soon - but I'll take a look at the links you posted and respond properly later today. Hopefully get my shoes in two days (almost impossible for me to practice anything starting from the floor or squatting without them - though doesn't stop me trying). Read that your shoes are on their way. Fingers crossed they fit you okay and that you love 'em.


Ah, I couldn't see a vid for it, either, but they say:

Sometimes used synonymously with snatch balance, the drop snatch is actually slightly different. While in the snatch balance, the athlete uses a dip and drive of the legs to unload the bar momentarily before driving under it, in the drop snatch, the athlete must drive under the bar with no upward push at all. This greatly limits the loads that can be used in the exercise, and as a consequence, limits its utility. It's more appropriate as part of a warm-up or to be used while progressing up toward heavier snatch balances.

Ok. I guess... I think it might be useful for learning speed under the bar. If you dip-drive it then you have more time to get yourself under it. If you don't dip-drive it then you will have to be faster. If heavier weights don't fall any faster than lighter weights then I'm not sure why one would be limited to light weights on this exercise.

It seems to me that all of those variants involved a slower drop under the bar than what the dude managed in the vid I posted. (I really hope you don't mind my posting your vid here random dude!) He also simply drops into the bottom position rather than needing to wiggle around a little to find the bottom of his squat.

I think I'm learning very slowly. I don't mind that given my aims etc. I guess I'm more attracted to drop snatches than the other variants.


I typically use them synonomously. The reason is because with lighter weights I try to do what the stranger in your video did, where he straight drops under and locks out. As the weight gets heavier I start to add a little dip before pushing myself under.
Some of the perceived slowness is usually attributed to not wanting the weight to crash on you. So once you get it locked out you start to brake against the weight to control it to the bottom position. Finding that bottom position will come with practice. It happens quickly for some but 1,000s of reps later for others.
Deb your video was really great. Amazing depth and strong, solid back position with the bar right above your foot's midline. If you can keep those as you progress you're going to be crushing some weight soon.


Dexter, thanks so much!!! =D A couple of weeks ago I was convinced I suck at this and thought of quitting. I really appreciate that.


I agree with Dexter's comments:
"Amazing depth and strong, solid back position with the bar right above your foot's midline. If you can keep those as you progress you're going to be crushing some weight soon."

Persistence is the key when learning a new skill - I'm sure you already know this.


Thanks NewWorldMan :slight_smile: Persistant I am, thankfully!


oh no - don't give up!!! you are progressing really well and you don't suck at all!

i only got quiet on this thread because i got this idea about drop snatches building speed...

and i dunno what to make of snatch balances.

so i didn't really have anything to say because i don't know what to make of the exercise.