Kettlebell Half Snatch

Benefits of the Kettlebell Half-Snatch 

When it comes to kettlebell sport training, workouts and drills are often focused primarily on endurance instead of strength. However, by utilizing specific techniques, you may be able to trigger muscle growth as well. One of the best ways to achieve this is by incorporating the kettlebell snatch into your workout routine. For beginners, it is recommended that you learn kettlebell press exercises first, and develop a good technique before incorporating snatch exercises. 

Kettlebell Master of Sport, Mike Salemi and our friend Justin Andrews from Mind Pump Media discuss the half-snatch, a move that can remove the complexity of the drop, aid in muscle growth, and is a great drill overall for practicing the kettlebell snatch. The half-snatch is great for beginners who are just starting to incorporate kettlebells in their workouts, advanced lifters who want some variation in their workouts, and individuals who need to reduce the eccentric force to reduce stress on their back. Mike demonstrates the half-snatch first (:58 – 1:19) and then breaks down how to perform the movement and outlines its associated benefits. Watch the video and follow the steps outlined below.

Step by Step Guide

On the upswing, use the same power that you would for a full-snatch

On the downswing, slowly lower down to the rack position with control (as you would for an overhead press)

Lower the bell down in the backswing as you would for a clean

Load up the posterior chain and swing it through to the overhead position

Additional Notes for Performing the Half-Snatch

As Mike notes in the video, the half-snatch provides some important benefits over a full snatch drill. If your hands are worn or sensitive from grip placement or other issues, the half-snatch will help you work on your upswing and prevent wear on your hands on the downswing. This means you can train longer and harder. Also, if your workout is lacking a strength-element, this drill will help you train for upper-body power. By focusing on the eccentric portion of the movement, you can lengthen the duration of the exercise and spur muscle growth. Finally, you are still benefitting from moving the kettlebell to a clean position. The snatch is essentially the same thing as a clean, but with a different finish point. During a clean, you would finish in the rack, while the snatch ends in the overhead position. 

By focusing on strength as well as endurance, you will see huge benefits in your everyday training. Stay tuned for more videos on drills and exercises that will improve your overall strength and endurance.

If you would like to improve your kettlebell performance or learn more about these dynamic exercises, visit our blog at We also provide free weekly workouts that can be delivered directly to your email inbox. Contact us 855-7KETTLE or email us directly at