kettlebell workouts

The kettlebell snatch stands as one of the most dynamic and impactful kettlebell exercises, renowned for its comprehensive engagement of the body's musculature and its ability to elevate heart rate. However, the kettlebell half snatch, an essential variation of this movement, offers similar benefits with some nuanced differences.

Getting Ready for Kettlebell Half Snatches

Preparing the Body: Warm-Up and Mobility Exercises

Before leaping into the kettlebell half snatch, adequately priming the body is crucial. Kick-off with a well-rounded warm-up session comprising light cardio, dynamic stretches, and joint mobility exercises. This not only boosts blood flow but also curbs the risk of injury, setting the stage for enhanced overall performance.

Enhancing Flexibility: Mobility Drills

Integrate exercises that zero in on the key muscle groups crucial for executing kettlebell half snatches. Embrace movements like hip circles, shoulder dislocates, and ankle rolls to bolster joint mobility. These drills not only amplify the range of motion but also lend support in upholding proper form during the movement.

Prioritizing Safety: Equipment and Precautions

Ensuring safety during kettlebell exercises takes precedence. Choosing an appropriate kettlebell weight in line with your fitness level is crucial. Opt for a handle that offers a comfortable grip accommodating your hand size. This attention to equipment details forms a core part of maintaining safety and ensuring effective performance.

Kettlebell Selection

Optimal Selection of Kettlebell Weight for Beginners is critical. Starting with a moderate weight ensures the maintenance of proper form as you begin. Men might typically start with a 16kg kettlebell, while women might begin with an 8kg kettlebell. Adjust the weight as your proficiency improves.

Workout Surface and Footwear

Ensure a clear workout area with ample space for swinging the kettlebell without obstruction. Opt for a level, non-slip surface to prevent accidents. Choose footwear with good arch support and traction to maintain stability, avoiding thick, cushioned soles that might hinder movement.

The Kettlebell Half Snatch Technique

The kettlebell half snatch is an intermediate-level exercise that entails swift and controlled movement. To master this technique, it's crucial to understand and practice both halves of the snatch movement.

First Half Snatch

The first half of the snatch focuses on the power production over power conservation. The technique emphasizes keeping the kettlebell close to the body's midline to avoid injuries. The steps involve swinging the kettlebell overhead, allowing it to flip over the hand, and then bringing it back down while maintaining close proximity to the body.

Second Half Snatch

The second half emphasizes duration and efficiency, with a focus on a corkscrew motion to maintain proximity between the kettlebell and the body. This technique involves allowing the kettlebell to fall, maneuvering the hand in a corkscrew motion to transition the bell from the palm to the fingers, and absorbing the kettlebell's weight with the body.

Mastering the kettlebell half snatch requires practice, focus, and adherence to proper technique. Additionally, maintaining fluidity between the halves is essential for smooth and efficient execution.

How to do Kettlebell Half Snatch Step by Step

Kettlebell Master of Sport, Mike Salemi and 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

Progression Tips for Kettlebell Half Snatch

  • As proficiency in the kettlebell half snatch increases, gradually increase the weight to allow for progressive overload. 
  • Experiment with different rep and set schemes to prevent plateaus and keep workouts engaging.

Key Benefits of Kettlebell Half-Snatch Drill for Enhanced Training

  • 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. This exercise offers numerous benefits, including enhanced aerobic fitness, improved posture, and mental focus and discipline.
  • 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. 

Nutrition and Recovery

  • Consume lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats for energy and muscle repair.
  • Drink water before, during, and after workouts for optimal performance.
  • Stretch to ease muscle tension and use foam rolling for flexibility and reducing soreness.
  • Have a balanced pre-workout snack and a meal post-workout within an hour.
  • Ensure adequate sleep and incorporate light activities on rest days for active recovery.

Real-Life Success Stories

Real-life accounts of individuals achieving success through kettlebell half snatches offer practical insights and motivation. These experiences highlight the posture-improving benefits, overall strength enhancement, and increased confidence attributed to mastering this exercise.

Barney's Journey

Barney, an office worker, found himself struggling with back pain due to prolonged hours at his desk. Seeking a solution, he discovered the kettlebell half snatch and decided to incorporate it into his fitness routine. Initially challenged by the technique, Barney persisted, gradually mastering the movement. Over time, he noticed significant improvements in his back strength and posture. The kettlebell half snatch not only alleviated his back pain but also enhanced his overall physical endurance, leaving him feeling more energized and confident in his daily life.

Jessica's Transformation

Jessica, a fitness enthusiast, was on the lookout for a workout that would provide a holistic full-body challenge. She stumbled upon the kettlebell half snatch and, intrigued by its benefits, decided to make it a part of her routine. With dedicated practice, she witnessed remarkable changes in her core strength and stability. Incorporating this exercise not only enhanced her physical fitness but also sharpened her mental focus and discipline. Jessica's journey with the kettlebell half snatch became a vital part of her overall fitness regimen, contributing to her improved strength, endurance, and a more balanced well-being.


In conclusion, the kettlebell half snatch, a variation of the snatch, proves to be an excellent exercise for building strength, stability, and aerobic fitness. Consistency, patience, and proper technique are keys to reaping its benefits, resulting in improved strength, endurance, and overall well-being. Incorporating the kettlebell half snatch into a regular exercise regimen paves the way toward a fitter and healthier lifestyle.

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 at 855-7KETTLE or email us directly at

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