Dana S.

I’m having a bit of a debate here in MN on the best starting position for a hang snatch.  Maybe you can shed some light on the subject.  When you’re starting from the hang, should your shoulders be over the bar? Or is that just for the first pull if you’re pulling from the ground?  Would love your thoughts and any good links if you have them!! xoxoxo


Hey Dana!

So it depends on the style of lifting you use, also the hang position you are working from. “Hang” with no further qualifier typically means any position between the top of the knees and mid thigh, then there is “high hang” that can involve the hips and knees, or only the knees. Then you get into “Tall or Hip snatches” or Snatches from below the knee, which could also qualify as a hang snatch.

The terminology varies from coach to coach. BUT! For the most part what you are going to see is, if you are performing a hang snatch from above the knee, your shoulders should be in front of the bar, here is alex lee, a lifter who uses a “bang” method notice at :21 his shoulders are in front of the bar, even though it appears his shoulders are well in front of the bar, it puts where his humerus hinges into his shoulder directly above the bar, (just to make a note as well, the shins are vertical at this point) Even while he transitions to mid thigh he is still over the bar, its not until after mid thigh does he begin to pick his shoulders up and whip back. (btw, listen to that awesome bang noise when that bar strikes)

Here is Lu Xiaojun, a brush lifter, at 14 seconds and at the top of the knee, you see that his shoulders are, still over the bar, although not as much as the prior lifter. at mid thigh he is directly above the bar.

Here is another lifter, a chinese national team member snatching from mid thigh and has his shoulders more oriented above the bar

Here is also some good required reading about the topic of bang v.s. brush “Hips, meet bar: Extension of the Snatch and Clean – Greg Everett”


I wouldn’t focus much on how far over the bar your shoulders are, at least in the case of pulling from mid thigh, because its also a matter of torso length, leg length, and arm length. If you are talking about hang snatching from above the knee, I always prefer the lifter to be “over the bar” and shins vertical, but weight on the full foot. At least until the point of reaching mid thigh, even greg everett who is a burgener trained olympic lifter and brushes the bar, stays over the bar at mid thigh (see here)

Focus on some of the points from “6 truths of olympic weightlifting”

Just as long as

A. you and the barbell stay balanced over the feet (don’t come up on your toes early)

B. The barbell and the lifter must remain in close proximity to each other.

C. consistency is more important than the actual technical style.