The snatch grip deadlift is a popular compound lift that is used in Olympic weightlifting. This lift primarily targets the hamstrings, but it also works the forearms (for gripping the bar), the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, traps and lower back.
This deadlift is an intermediate difficulty compound lift. It is generally considered to be safer than a straight-legged deadlift, but you should still take care to perform the lift correctly because if you do not maintain good posture during the lift you can injure your back. The snatch grip can be used as a one-off lift, or as an accessory for training the strength of the first pull of the snatch.
How to Do A Snatch Grip Deadlift
To correctly perform this lift, stand in a wide snatch grip with the barbell placed on the platform. Start with a light weight that still allows the barbell to be at the right height for you to grab. You may need to use rubberized bumper plates to be able to achieve the right set-up. Make sure that your feet are directly underneath the bar. It is common for people to not stand “deep” enough, and this leads to poor posture.
Squat down towards the bar, being sure that you keep your back extended with your head up and looking forward. Under no circumstances should you ever round your back when performing a deadlift.
To start the lift, drive down through your heels and raise your hips. Keep your back at the same angle throughout the first portion of the lift, do not allow your back to round.
Once the bar passes your knees, drive your hips forward through the bar and lay back. This will straighten your back and complete the lift. Do not try to “hitch” the bar up your legs. If you feel the need to do this then the weight you are lifting is too heavy.
Return the bar to the floor by reversing the motion you have just performed. If you feel that you cannot safely do this, and you are lifting in a gym with bumper plates and a deadlift platform, you may be able to simply drop the weight. However, this is often frowned upon because it can damage metal plates, damage the floor, and even potentially injure bystanders of the weight rolls or bounces. Try to stick to a weight that is heavy enough that you are tired after five repetitions, but light enough that you can pick it up and put it back down in a safe and controlled fashion.
A deadlift repetition involves picking up a weight then putting it back down and allowing it to come to rest on the floor. Do not bounce the weight up and down off the floor between repetitions. Stop after one repetition, take a moment to address the bar again and perform the next repetition correctly. Deadlifts are best performed as a heavy lift for a low number of repetitions.