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The Kettlebell Snatch | Exercise Benefits and Correct Technique

The kettlebell snatch is another great exercise to add to your routine –  it is similar to the swing and it also is a full body exercise that will torch a lot of calories! It is also a great exercise for improving your vertical jump and even your speed.

In addition, kettlebell work outs are a great if you have a limited amount of time to train. Personally, kettlebell sessions are placed into my routine as ideal metabolic finishers at the end of a normal workout, just to get some extra calorie burning in and to loosen up before stretching after a power lifting session.

Form is crucial with this the kettlebell snatch, and it is important to not go too heavy too soon until you get your technique right.

Benefits of the Kettlebell Snatch

Myprotein leggings kettlebell workout

1) In addition to the kettlebell swing, the snatch exercise is another great calorie burner!

2) It is a great exercise for building up your fitness level and strength as helps to raise your heart rate in a short amount of time.

3) The kettlebell snatch is a great step in the preparation for olympic lifts.

4) A powerful movement to train your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, core and your shoulders!

The Kettlebell Snatch Exercise

Step #1kettlebell snatch form and technique

✓ Begin the exercise by standing behind the kettlebell keeping your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

As with the kettlebell swing, when you bend to pick up the kettlebell, push your hips back and keep your chest high.

Keep your back straight and your head up.

Ensure to keep spine straight and core tight throughout the movement.


Step #2

kettlebell snatch form and technique

Initiate the movement in the same way you would a kettlebell swing, firing the weight towards your shoulders by pushing through the legs and hips.

✓ Instead of fully extending your arms at the top of the movement, bend your arm at the elbow. This will place the kettlebell in a position a few inches from your chest which is the optimal position to perform the snatch part of the movement.

Your wrist should rotate as you perform this part of the movement.


Step #3

kettlebell snatch form and technique As the kettlebell reaches chest height, the next step is to pull the kettle bell using your shoulders and upper back muscles, don’t place all the work on your arm alone.

When the kettlebell goes just above your head, it is time to perform the punch through portion of the movement: do this by punching through and locking out your arm.

Timing is crucial here and getting it right and punching through on time helps prevent banging your wrists off the kettlebell.

Make sure to keep your elbows close and tight to your body all the way through to your pressing movement

Lower the weight back down and repeat the exercise for as many reps as necessary.

Take home tips

✓ Perform same amount of repetitions on each side

This is a huge mistake many people make when using kettlebells. It is one most people remember with dumbbell exercises but can neglect with exercises like the snatch as it is so much hard work that when you finish a set, you can forget the opposite side. You can also perform a double snatch which eliminates this issue, but the most popular version is the one handed snatch. Make sure that you train both sides equally to promote muscle balance!

✓ Maintain control

It can be really tempting to just let loose and fling the kettlebell around, but if you watch some of the kettlebell pros, you will see that they have control over the kettlebell. Not maintaining control can lead to some pretty nasty injuries, as with all weightlifting, as your form will suffer.

✓ Don’t arch your back

As with the kettlebell swing, back rounding can also be a major issue with the kettlebell snatch. Make sure you keep your back straight at all times throughout the exercise, as rounding the back can cause injury. Squeeze your glutes for extra protection!

✓ Consider your footwear

Flat soled shoes tend to great for kettlebell work, or even your bare feet. This is because you will have better balance. Running shoes tend to have cushioning in the heel which can inhibit the natural movement of the feet and ankles.

✓ Don’t overdo it

Although you can have too much of a good thing with any exercise, overhead work is easy to overdo. When you first begin to do kettlebell snatches, be conservative with your reps and build up your strength gradually. You don’t need to do a three hundred snatch challenge on your first day!

✓ Take time to improve your technique

There are quite a few cues to remember in the snatch, and although with time it becomes second nature to perform, it is really important that you take the time to focus on your technique and get the movement right. This will help you lift better in the long term!

✓ Correct timing to prevent bruised wrists

Waiting too long to perform the punch through part of the movement causes the kettlebell to be too high meaning it falls back down and bangs on your wrist. A good tip I found when i first used this exercise was to wear a sweatband until i mastered the timing of the punch through part of the exercise. Using liquid chalk also really helps you to keep a good grip and control of the kettlebell.

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