The snatch starting position HAS to be mastered since everything that follows is massively affected by how you set up. Before anything, it’s important to mention that EVERYONE will have a different starting position, since everyone’s anthropometrics are different. So keep in mind that this post is more about the basics rather than a individualised approach towards the snatch starting position.
As well as anthropometrics, there are different styles of snatching -- Chinese vs. Russian vs. Rest of the world -- meaning that they teach the starting position differently.
Let’s get started on what the starting position generally should look like.
Feet at hip width: The wider the feet, the more stable the foundation, however, the same doesn’t apply for force production. For maximal force to be produced it has to happen in a linear fashion (or something resembling it) and placing your feet under your hips achieves that, without being to narrow causing an unstable foundation.
The bar is placed over the metatarsophalangeal joint (AKA over the ball of the foot), shins are touching the bar -- YES touching. You want the bar to be close to you as possible at ALL times. Shoulders slightly in front of the bar and medially rotated, allowing the elbows to point in the direction of the bar. Yes, the bar position will cause the centre of mass to be slightly forefoot heavy (don’t mistake that by shifting all the weight on the balls of the feet). The shoulders are slightly in front of the bar if the arms are vertical or are slightly pointing backwards (the mass of the shoulders is the bit in front)
The knees will be in front of the bar, BUT they should also be pushed out to lightly touch the inside of your arms. The reason being that it will cause the hips to be closer to the bar, making the upright posture easier to maintain and will change how far in front of the bar the knees will be (optimising the 1st pull).
It should go without saying, but I’m going to tell you anyway! Your back should be straight as an arrow and rigid as a rock, otherwise, you’ll bend out of shape ones you start pulling, that is if you're lifting somewhat of a heavy weight compared to your bodyweight.