Dumbbell Snatch: Benefits And How To

If you want to add some more versatility and functional strength to your training program, the dumbbell snatch is where it’s at. Dumbbell snatch is a full-body movement, that stimulates your core, glutes, quads, shoulders, and back. It can help you torch body fat, increase strength, and improve core strength and mobility. Convinced yet? We’re going to talk more about the muscles worked by the dumbbell snatch, its benefits, how to do them properly, and the reasons why they are a must-have in your training.

What Is Dumbbell Snatch 

The dumbbell snatch is a full-body compound and functional strength training movement. Adopted from the traditional barbell snatch, the dumbbell snatch is a modified variation that uses a single dumbbell as a unilateral movement, as opposed to a barbell and a bilateral movement.

Dumbbell Snatch Muscles Worked

Dumbbell snatch is a compound movement, meaning it works multiple muscle groups and joints simultaneously. From the bottom of the lift, almost starting in a deadlift position, a single dumbbell, is pushed from the ground, along the body, exploding with power, while the dumbbell ends up overhead, while you are in the squat position. Sounds complicated, and that’s because it is. While all this movement is happening, you are recruiting and simulating multiple muscle groups, including, the entire posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, and erectors), shoulders, upper back, traps, and lats from the pulling motion to landing it overhead and stabilizing the weight.

The posterior chain is responsible for hip extension, which creates the force and power, from lifting the weight off the ground and using your hip explosion to throw the weight overhead.

Dumbbell Snatch Benefits

The dumbbell snatch is a complex and technical movement. While it requires impeccable form and finesse, strength, mobility, balance, and coordination—the benefits of the dumbbell snatch are worth it. The benefits include:

1. Strength

Like any resistance training movement, the dumbbell snatch will build more strength with the proper set and rep protocol. Dumbbell snatch increases power, explosiveness, and overall total body strength, especially in the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.

2. Balance And Coordination

The dumbbell snatch requires a great deal of core strength and midline stability. Core strength is responsible for balance and coordination and plays an integral role in bigger and more complex movements, such as the barbell snatch, clean and jerk, and functional strength training movements. As a unilateral movement, the dumbbell snatch can also improve muscle imbalances and movement asymmetries.

3. Burns More Body Fat 

Compound movements burn body fat in a faster period of time. They require more intensity, power output, and work multiple muscles groups at once, meaning you essentially train more efficiently. Burning more calories, will help achieve a caloric deficit, contributing to more burned body fat and weight loss. 

How To Dumbbell Snatch

The dumbbell snatch is a complex movement and can be split into three phases, lift, hip explosion, and catch

Phase 1: The Lift

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend down and grab a single dumbbell with your body directly positioned over it.
  • Squat down, push, and hinge your hips back, similar to the starting position of a deadlift.
  • With your chest, head up and shoulders rolled back, grasp the dumbbell.

Phase 2: Hip Explosion

  • Push your feet hard into the ground.
  • Use your quads, glutes, hips, and posterior chain to pull the weight from the ground as you push your feet into the floor.
  • The weight should feel like you are trying to throw it above you, with power and force.
  • Once the weight travels overhead freely flowing upward, drive your elbow back, flip your arm and drop your torso to catch the dumbbell.

Phase 3: The Catch

  • Once the dumbbell is overhead, drop down into a squat position.
  • This can be a dip and not a full squat, it depends on your training program and protocol
  • Now, stand up tall with weight overhead
  • Congratulations, you just completed one rep of the dumbbell snatch

Dumbbell Snatch: Takeaway

Dumbbell snatch is a complex and technical functional strength training movement that can add power and strength to your workout. The dumbbell snatch can also greatly benefit your mobility, balance as well as your coordination, and significantly increase your functional strength across other movements.

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