Drop Snatch – Exercise Benefits, Video Demo, and Programming Notes

In this article we will discuss the drop snatch, a snatch accessory exercise that can be used by intermediate and advanced lifters to develop proper timing, fluidity, confidence, and overhead strength underneath a snatch.

Drop Snatch Exercise Demo

The drop snatch is an intermediate level snatch accessory exercise that can develop proper overhead performance, timing, and skill in the snatch receiving position. In the below video demonstration, the drop snatch is performed.

Who Should Do Drop Snatches?

Drop snatches can be done by nearly any level lifter, for the purpose of skill development, warm-ups, or simply to add training volume to a snatch program. Lifters who fail to have confidence, understand proper timing and lock out mechanics in the receiving position of the snatch, or simply do not have the balance and upright torso control to stabilize the barbell overhead can benefit from this moment. Lastly, drop dnatches can be done to prepare lifters for heavier snatches, add training volume and diversity to a program, or simply to increase a lifter’s level of speed and precision underneath a barbell.

How Should You Program Drop Snatches?

Drop snatches can be done as an accessory lift after main snatch training, on lighter days to build in volume and skill, or during warm-up sessions. Typically, this movement is done with relatively lighter loads, often between 50-80% of a lifter’s snatch maximum. The sets and repetition loading is usually 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions.

Why Should You Do Drop Snatches?

As briefly discussed above, the drop snatch is an accessory exercise that can be done to enhance confidence, speed, and skill underneath the barbel in the snatch. By performing the drop snatch, you force a lifter to find proper foot positioning in the receiving position of the snatch (overhead squat), enhance triceps extension and lockout performance, and fully understand body/torso position to ensure a rigid upright torso in reclining position of the snatch. Below, each aspect is discussed in deeper coaching context.

Overhead Stability

Overhead stability and performance is key to securing snatches overhead. Proper overhead placement of the barbell, upper back engagement, and shoulder/scapular stability is needed at high speeds in the ballistic movement. Drop snatches, like snatch balances, can help a lifter bridge the gap between being strong overhead and being fast, fluid, and balanced as well (specific to the snatch).

Confidence and Speed Under Snatch

The drop snatch minimizes the amount of hip drive to accelerate the barbell upward off the lifter to create some sort of separation. By not creating large amounts of separation at the onset of the movement, the lifter must focus solely on moving underneath the barbell faster than the barbell is accelerating downwards (due to gravity). This will help lifters gain the movement skill, timing, and confidence to trust themselves getting underneath heavy barbells in the snatch.


Proper Snatch Footwork

The drop snatch can be used to increase a lifter’s footwork in the snatch receiving position (once they have properly been shown and have demonstrated understanding). The lack of time given to the lifter, who must assume the correct position, can help the lifter develop confidence and an understanding of such footwork so that it becomes involuntary during snatch training.

Proper Timing in the Snatch Receiving Position

The drop snatch can be a useful skill development exercise to help lifters find better fluidity of the snatch pull, transition, and speed at which they need to move underneath the barbell. By performing drop snatches prior to snatch sessions, or on lighter days, you can increase lockout speed, body awareness, and provide the lifter/coach with an accessory movement that can develop the proper timing and fluidity to receiving a barbell in the proper overhead squat position.

How to Snatch More Weight!

Take a look at the articles below to read about how you can increase your snatch and Olympic weightlifting technique.

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