What is a dumbbell snatch?

The dumbbell snatch is a multistep exercise that works on several muscles groups in your upper and lower body. Also known as the single arm dumbbell snatch, dumbbell power snatch, Crossfit dumbbell snatch, or the one arm dumbbell snatch, the first part of this exercise impacts your lower body including your glutes and hamstrings. In the second set of movements in dumbbell snatch muscles worked include upper body muscles including your triceps and back. That’s not all, your core is also stimulated and activated throughout the exercise.

Now you have understood the basics, let’s talk about how to do dumbbell snatch and how dumbbell snatch muscles worked. 

How to do dumbbell snatch?

Here is a detailed step-by-step explanation of how to do the dumbbell snatch workout:

  1. To begin the power snatch dumbbell exercise, stand straight keeping your feet shoulder or hip-width apart. Your knees must be slightly bent and shoulders must be directly over your hips. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position. 
  2. Keep your chin tucked in throughout the movement. 
  3. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet and engage your core.
  4. Now hinge your hips back, engage your legs and glutes, and pick up the dumbbell. 
  5. Quickly raise the dumbbell to an overhead position while doing a full or a quarter squat with the dumbbell positioned over your head. 
  6. Your chest must be high and spine straight. 
  7. Lower the dumbbell and return to the starting position. This is one repetition. Complete all the repetitions on one side and repeat the single arm dumbbell snatch on the other side. 

What are the different variations of dumbbell snatch?

Once you have perfected the traditional one arm dumbbell snatch, it is time to know and practise its variations. These variations help in keeping you motivated and create more stimulus and progress.

  1. Alternate dumbbell snatch: The alternating dumbbell snatch is a variation of the traditional one-arm form of this exercise in which you need to transfer the dumbbell from one hand to the other in between repetitions. The alternate dumbbell snatch is an excellent exercise that enhances resistance and makes your movements faster and more aerobic. This helps in burning more calories faster and gaining the benefits of progressive overload.
  2. Hang snatch dumbbell: In this variation, the exercise starts from the ‘hang’ position i.e. when the dumbbell is held above the ground usually above your knees. To do the hang snatch dumbbell, you need to deadlift the dumbbell to the hang position while maintaining the lumbar curve. The remaining steps are the same as in the traditional Crossfit dumbbell snatch. This variation is an alternating dumbbell snatch.
  3. Dual dumbbell snatch: Also known as the two-arm dumbbell snatch, this is an effective exercise to work out your shoulders, upper legs, and glutes. As the name suggests, the dual dumbbell snatch is done with two dumbbells and by using both your arms at the same time. 

What are the benefits of dumbbell snatch?

The dumbbell snatch exercise is a powerful full-body exercise that has tremendous benefits. Here is why you should include this exercise in your workout regime:

  1. One of the best dumbbell snatch benefits is that it works on almost all the muscles in your body including those in your legs, back, shoulders, core, and arms. This enhances the strength and endurance in your upper and lower body.
  2. A strong core is the foundation of all the movements that you make in a day. By strengthening your core, this exercise improves your balance and stability while preventing injuries.
  3. Since the power snatch dumbbell workout is a high-intensity workout routine, it improves your cardio-respiratory fitness. When practised regularly, it helps prevent the risk of heart problems, asthma, COPD, etc.
  4. Dumbbell snatch benefits people who suffer from postural problems. By strengthening your lower back it helps prevent and manage pain, stiffness, and tension.
  5. Since the dumbbell power snatch exercise requires you to move with power and speed, it helps build explosive strength. All of these combined together lead to improved workout and athletic performance with better speed and force.
  6. This is one of the most effective dumbbell exercises to improve our metabolic conditioning and burn calories and fat. This helps in preventing the risk of obesity-related disorders.
  7. The dumbbell snatch exercise is a great way to improve and build your bone density and strength. This helps prevent the risk of injuries from falls and fractures.
  8. One of the benefits of this exercise is that to do this all you need is a pair of dumbbells and a little space. This makes it an easy addition to your workouts at home.

How to do dumbbell snatch safely?

Just like any other weighted exercise, you need to be mindful of your form and technique while doing the dumbbell snatch exercise. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. This is not a workout for beginners. That’s why to start doing the dumbbell snatch you not just need to have a basic conditioning level but also learn it from an experienced trainer. This helps prevent the risk of injuries.
  2. Don’t start lifting heavy weights at the outset. Start with lighter weights and gradually progress your workout.
  3. Don’t do too many reps in the beginning. Let your body get used to the exercise and before increasing its intensity and frequency.
  4. In case you suffer from any specific health conditions, talk to your doctor before including this or any other exercise in your routine. 
  5. Never hunch your back or look down. Hinge from your hips.
  6. Don’t do the movements in rapid succession. Perform them in a controlled and stable manner.
  7. Incorporate a warm-up session in your routine to prevent muscle strain.


When done correctly and consistently, the dumbbell snatch workout is a great way to recruit and strengthen multiple muscle groups. To gain the benefits of this exercise, remember to modify it according to your strength, age, and health. 

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May 17, 2022

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