If you’re looking for a simple, easy to follow guide to help you pick out exactly the right weightlifting assistance exercises for you then you’re in the right place. Today I’ll take you through the five most common issues with the snatch, as well as the best assistance exercises that you can use to correct those issues.

There’s no magic here, just tried and tested methods for improving your lifts.

Let’s get cracking shall we?

To address overhead instability

One of the biggest, and scariest, issues that I see in the snatch is a lack of sufficient overhead stability. Without overhead stability, you risk missing lifts like this:


If you don’t fancy becoming a human pancake. I recommend these two exercises:

1) Snatch Push Press

2) Snatch balances

To address turnover

If you can get the bar up but can’t seem to consistently lock it into the right place, then chances are you need to isolate and practice finding that position.

I recommend:

1) Muscle snatches (from hip, then knee, then floor)

To address bar path

Perhaps the most common reason for missing a snatch is poor bar path. Ideally you’re looking for the bar to travel in upwards, vertically, in a straight line whilst in close proximity to your body.

To best address this issue I recommend pull variations with less 60-70% max on the bar.

For example:

1) Snatch high pulls

2) Hang snatch high pulls

It can also be worth reviewing your start position. You’d be amazed how many bad bar paths start as a bad start position.

To address pull under the bar

For me, naturally pulling under a heavy bar is the mark of a real champion of the sport. Don’t believe me, watch world and olympic champion Ilya Ilyin teleport under this barbell.

To improve your speed under the bar I recommend:

1) High Hang Snatches

2) Block Snatches

To address weak pull

Sometimes your biggest weakness is literally your weakness. The two simplest ways to improve this are:

1) Back squats

2) Snatch Deadlifts

How to know which area is your issue

There are two ways to find out which of these five areas is your biggest issue.

1) You can spend the next year reading lots of weightlifting books, watching lots of weightlifting videos and attending courses to learn how to identify technical errors through movement observation.

2) You can make the decision to invest in yourself and hire a coach who already knows how to do all of this.

Option 1 takes dozens of hours, lots of experimentation and plenty of mistakes, but it’s cheaper.

Option 2 fast tracks your process and has you lifting measurably better in a few weeks.

I’m not subtle but I’m honest, and you can apply for a free, no obligation coaching call with me, by clicking right here or by filling in the contact box on this page.

Now, go lift some heavy shit!

Your Coach


#weightliftingassistanceexercises #snatchassistanceexercises