A snatch grip deadlift is an advanced variation of the traditional deadlift. The snatch grip is done with a wider grip on the barbell.

Some weight lifters prefer a wider snatch grip because it’s more comfortable for the lower back.

Read on to learn more about the benefits, plus tips to help you safely perform this exercise.

The snatch grip deadlift can be used to work the following muscles:

Work upper back

The snatch grip deadlift works a lot of the same muscles as the traditional deadlift, but because of the positioning of the wide grip, it works more of the upper back than the lower back.

You may prefer the position of a snatch grip if you have lower back pain or if you’re looking to strengthen your upper back.

Increase range of motion

The snatch grip deadlift is a deeper movement than a traditional deadlift. The wider positioning of the arms means you have to extend your hips further back for the movement. This helps you to more deeply engage the muscles of the traps, hamstrings, and upper back.

The movement may also increase your range of motion in these muscles. This can help you better perform other exercises, including traditional deadlifts.

Improve hip mobility

The deeper starting positioning of the snatch grip may also help improve hip mobility. Hip mobility is an important functional movement for everyday activities like bending down and over to pick up objects from the floor, and staying limber.

Setup

First, you’ll want to pick a barbell that’s light enough that you can comfortably complete 8 to 12 reps, but heavy enough that you still feel challenged.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that your positioning is correct. For this move, you’ll need to use a wide grip to hold the barbell. Your arms should remain extended throughout the move, and your feet should be turned out slightly.

To identify the correct placement for your hands on the bar, start by lifting your elbows so that they’re at shoulder level. Your arms should form downward-pointing 90-degree angles. Then, extend your arms fully. This is the correct positioning of your arms for your snatch grip deadlift.

Expert tip

Put tape on the bar to remind yourself where to place your arms when you’re ready to do the exercise.

Healthline

Snatch grip deadlift instructions

Now that you know how to set up the move, you can follow these steps to complete the exercise.

  1. Start by standing behind the bar with your feet hip-width apart and rotated out slightly.
  2. Dip your hips back until you’re almost in a full squat position, and grip the bar using the placement steps outlined above. If you’re using small plates or no plates, you can balance the bar on blocks so that you’re able to retain proper form when grabbing the bar.
  3. Slowly rise out of the squat position while holding the bar. Keep your back straight and your arms extended throughout the move. Squeeze your butt muscles as you reach the top.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back down to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  5. Do 8 to 12 reps for a set. Do 2 sets.

The snatch grip deadlift is an advanced move. Make sure you have traditional deadlifts mastered before moving on to this variation. It’s a deeper movement than a normal deadlift, and will engage the muscles of the upper back, hips, lats, and hamstrings more.

If you’re injured or feel a lot of pain throughout the exercise, you’ll want to skip this move.

Warning

Taking too wide of a grip on the bar can be dangerous and lead to injury. A certified personal trainer can help you determine the grip that’s safe for you.

Healthline

If possible, work with a certified personal trainer who can watch your form as you practice deadlifts. This will help you avoid injury.

If you’re a beginner, practice these moves before moving on to snatch grip deadlifts:

Practice these exercises 2 or 3 times a week to build up strength. During each workout, aim to do 8 to 10 reps of each exercise for 2 or 3 sets.

The snatch grip deadlift is an advanced move. Make sure you’ve mastered the form for a traditional deadlift before moving on to a snatch grip.

Some weight lifters prefer the snatch grip because it’s easier on the lower back, but it’ll fully engage other muscles like your lats and hamstrings.

The positioning of your body and using correct form is very important for this move. Use a spotter or personal trainer to confirm you’re doing the move correctly. Doing the snatch grip with improper form could lead to injury.

Always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.