How To Perfect The Kettlebell Snatch

How to Perfect the Kettlebell Snatch

The kettlebell snatch is one of the most dynamic and practical kettlebell exercises, and many consider it to be an essential element of a robust kettlebell workout regimen. This explosive movement strengthens your core, works the posterior chain muscles, and engages the whole body while increasing your heart-rate. 

The snatch incorporates many different elements that are essential to a kettlebell workout, including the kettlebell swing. It is essential to be familiar with the proper form for a kettlebell swing before incorporating the snatch into your workout. The snatch also helps work the shoulder muscles and can be performed as an alternative to the classic shoulder press. 

The kettlebell snatch is often divided into two styles of drops. In this video, both drops are demonstrated by our Kettlebell Master of Sport, Mike Salemi and Justin Andrews from Mind Pump Media. Mike demonstrates each drop and then explains the specific movements involved in the exercise as well as the particular circumstances in which you might want to use them.

The first drop (demonstrated from 1:06 – 1:15), is more of a hard-style technique that emphasizes power production over power conservation. Consider using this method if you are training for an RKC snatch test, which requires doing 100 snatches during a five-minute interval. Since this technique is less technical, it is crucial that your timing is ideal. To avoid injuries, keep the kettlebell as close to your midline as possible and avoid casting the bell far away from your body. 

Step by Step Guide: Drop One

1.) Start in a standard hinged-at-the-hips position

2.) Swing the kettlebell into the overhead position

3.) Like you are shooting a basketball, let the kettlebell flip over the top of your hand and cast it out

4.) As you cast out, make sure to avoid pulling the hips out early and keep the kettlebell as close to the midline of your body as possible

5.) Wait until your forearm and pelvis make contact before going into the backswing

The second drop (demonstrated from 3:13 – 3:36), is a drop used when doing kettlebell sport since it is a duration and efficiency movement. Instead of the soft-cast used in drop one, a corkscrew motion is used, and the kettlebell stays even closer to the body, rather than being cast out. The correct position of the kettlebell in your hand will be a 45-degree angle into the heel of the palm (4:30). 

Step by Step Guide: Drop Two

1.) Start in a standard hinged-at-the-hips position

2.) Swing the kettlebell into the overhead position

3.) Lean your torso back, while keeping the kettlebell as close to the midline of your body as possible

4.) As the kettlebell begins to fall, move your hand in a corkscrew motion, transitioning the bell from your upturned palm to your fingers

5.) Bend at the elbow and allow the torso to catch the upper arm, maintaining your center of gravity to avoid taking on the weight of the kettlebell

6.) Once the kettlebell is received (with your palm up), corkscrew the hand once more to rotate the thumb backward on the drop

Additional Kettlebell Snatch Notes

Mike details a few essential tips that apply to both types of drops. For instance, it is vital to secure the kettlebell in your fingers at the right time to help with flow and ease of the exercise. He also recommends absorbing the weight of the kettlebell with your body by keeping it as close as possible to the midline of your body will help maintain your efficiency of movement.

Overall, the kettlebell snatch is an excellent exercise, since it incorporates so many essential kettlebell exercise elements and has a robust aerobic element to it. This powerful workout combines aerobic benefits with strength and stability for far more muscles than the standard kettlebell swing, so it is worth incorporating into your regular exercise regimen.

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