The Snatch-Grip Deadlift is one of the most awesome exercises you can ever do — period. The Snatch-Grip Deadlift will fast track you to being King of The Gym in no time, adding slabs of muscle all over your body and elevating your overall athletic performance.
But, again, the Snatch-Grip Deadlift is one of the most underused exercises that I see in the gym.
Of course, it’s harder to ego lift with this movement, but you would be silly not to use it — regardless of whether you’re a bodybuilder or a powerlifter.
Before we begin, however, I must stress that you need sufficient hip/hamstring mobility to perform this exercise safely. Otherwise, your lower back will round and leave you at high risk of debilitating injury.
You can always modify your starting position and begin pulling a little higher, either off pins or blocks, starting at a point where your back doesn’t round.
So let’s examine why this is one of the best exercises you can ever do.
5 Reasons Why You Should Do The Snatch-Grip Deadlift
The legendary Dmitry Klokov was the boss of this movement.
1. Nothing Will Bring Up Your Finger/Grip Strength As Fast
Provided that you’re not wearing straps to perform this exercise at submaximal loads, the Snatch-Grip Deadlift, given its prone starting position, will bring up your grip strength incredibly fast.
When you reach heavier loads, you may struggle to get the bar off the ground as your fingers won’t be strong enough to hold onto the bar.
Not to worry, practicing the Snatch-Grip Deadlift at lighter loads will help catapult your grip strength to new heights.
2. It is One Of The Best Deadlift Accessory Movements If You’re Weak Off The Floor
As you have to modify your starting position in order to rip the bar off the ground, you will mimic a movement similar to a deficit deadlift.
The Snatch-Grip Deadlift increases the overall range of motion, and has you pulling from a position lower than where you would begin a conventional Deadlift.
It also hammers the upper back and forearms — both of which are essential to being strong off the floor.
3. It Mimics a Vertical Jump and Directly Carries Over To Many Athletic Movements
The Snatch-Grip Deadlift follows a range of motion nearly identical to a vertical jump. The rate of force development to complete the Snatch-Grip Deadlift carries over to many athletic movements such as jumping, first step speed, and acceleration.
It also trains the entire posterior chain as well as providing an extra bit of all-important knee flexion over the traditional conventional deadlift.
This means that the quadriceps receive extra stimulation.
In the past, I’ve included the Snatch-Grip Deadlift in a list of quad exercises you can complete without a squat rack.
4. Your Back and Posterior Chain Won’t Know What Hit Them
Given the depth of the starting position, this movement is like a conventional deadlift on steroids.
The increased range of motion taxes your posterior chain far more aggressively than the conventional deadlift.
One thing I love, in particular, about the Snatch-Grip Deadlift is how nothing — except Reverse Hyperextensions and Weighted Back Raises — come close to activating the upper hamstrings.
The combination of its range of motion and its toughness will help bring up your lagging butt.
5. It Will Help Correct Mechanical/Positional Weaknesses in Your Deadlift
The low starting position, as we’ve mentioned, requires improved hip and hamstring mobility to complete safely and to prevent your lower back from rounding.
To deadlift more efficiently, you have to learn to “sink” into your hips at the starting position.
If you can’t “sink” into your hips for the Snatch-Grip Deadlift, you will struggle to do them at all.
The wider grip requires unerring upper back tightness. Some people struggle to remain tight in their upper back when doing their deadlifts; this movement will set them straight.
A strong back is 100% necessary for a big deadlift. By adding the Snatch-Grip Deadlift as a main accessory movement, a weak back will be quickly brought up to speed.
How to Do The Snatch-Grip Deadlift
Check out the tutorial by Alan Thrall below.
There are some cues we would like to add:
- Approach the bar
- Have feet a similar width apart to how you’d approach a vertical jump
- Sink into your hips
- Place index fingers on the bar’s outer rings
- Keep neutral spine
- Push yourself off the ground through your heels
- Keep your head up
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