Here is a guide to three common lifts: The Thruster, the Clean, and the Snatch. This article provides an overview of each movement, a video, as well as any variations there may be.
The thruster is one of the more basic lifts, and is simply a combination of a front squat to overhead press.
To do a thruster, start with the barbell racked at your shoulders. Descend into a front squat, and then rise explosively out of the squat while pressing the weight overhead, to end in a standing position with the barbell completely overhead.
The clean is one of the most frequently used lifts, and also has a plethora of variations.
Known in formal terms as the squat clean, variations include the power clean and the hang clean. Cleans are also a versatile lift, and are often used in combination with other lifts. For example, the clean & jerk or the clean & press.
The standard squat clean starts with the barbell on the ground, and the uses a drive in the hips to lift the weight to shoulder-height. To “catch” the weight when it arrives at shoulder height, one descends immediately into a front squat to get underneath the weight, then rises back up to a standing position.
The power clean is different from the squat clean in that there is no front squat component to the clean. Instead, there is a small dip in the knees on the catch before straightening up fully.
The hang clean is the same as the squat clean, except the barbell starts from a hanging position (in your hands, with your arms hanging down) rather than the ground.
Arguably one of the most difficult lifts due to the high skill level needed to perform the snatch, this lift is a staple move that anyone serious about lifting should practice.
The snatch is usually done with a barbell, unless “dumbbell snatch” has been specified for the workout. A barbell snatch starts with the barbell on the ground, using a wide grip, and involves driving the weight overhead, and “catching” the weight by getting underneath it, i.e. descending into an overhead squat, then rising back up.