Clean & Press vs. Snatch: Part 1

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Clean & Press vs. Snatch: Part 1

Some of you reading this will be well acquainted with Olympic lifting and some of you may think you have to be in the Olympics to do Olympic lifting. Well have no fear this article is for all levels of fitness.

Whether you are trying to get better at picking up dumbbells between workouts or perfecting your Turkish get-up, lifting neophytes and cross-fit nuts alike should always be working on form. But always remember, before form comes knowledge…pretty sure that was Confucius. So to take the advice of our fitness-obsessed Chinese forebear we are going to take a deep dive into the difference between the clean and press versus the snatch. There is a plethora of information out there regarding proper form for both Olympic lifts separately but few sources do a side-by-side comparison. Luckily you have such amazing personal trainers at Sweat Performance that will take the time to give you the low-down on both these popular Olympic lifts.

The Grip

The grip for the clean and the snatch are going to vary dramatically. We’ll give you the quick and dirty on how to even begin approaching this lift.

Clean & Press

Instead of always wondering if your grip is correct or the same as your last rep, here is a tip for hand placement on the clean and press. Move as close to the bar as possible so the ankles are touching the barbell. You will create an L-shape with both hands. With the bar in front of you, place the thumbs of the L on the outside of your ankles. With thumbs still on your ankles, reach down to the bar with your pointer fingers. From there you can wrap both hands around the bar. You now have the perfect grip position for your clean and press, plus it will be identical in every rep!


There is no cool tip or trick around the grip for the snatch. When beginning a snatch you will want to place your hands all the way to the end of the barbell shaft (before the collar/sleeve where the weights go on). Of course this will be dependent on height and wingspan. For all your five-foot-clubbers, don’t stress if you can’t get your hands all the way to the end of the shaft. As far out as you can go will suffice. There ya go, it’s as easy as Sunday morning!

Voila, you can now move towards that chrome laden stick of pain with confidence! Happy lifting fellow Sweaters!

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