Master the kettlebell snatch in 3 steps

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Finally get the kettlebell snatch you deserve.

The kettlebell snatch is usually the most feared movement in the kettlebell realm. There’s something about explosively delivering a kettlebell to an overhead position that usually causes reluctance. If we look at the basics of the kettlebell snatch, it usually only comes down to a couple of key factors that will dictate your success.

Minimum Standards

With the weight you want to learn the kettlebell snatch with can you?

  1. Press for reps and complete 5 perfect get ups in 10min?
  2. Complete 100 reps each side of your single arm swing in 10min?

If not, start there. By being able to complete these standards in the press, get up and single arm swing means you will most likely have the skills and requisite strength to start your training the kettlebell snatch. Pavel’s program minimum from enter the kettlebell and phase one of kettlebell66 will help you achieve these standards.

If you’re still in doubt at this point, go heavier on the press, get up and single arm swing to give you the confidence to attempt the snatch.

The Pop

We’ve dealt with the pop in the kettlebell snatch by hitting the reps and standards in the single arm swing. If we struggle with that hip pop, the snatch becomes much more difficult to achieve as we don’t have that momentum to drive the kettlebell to the top of the movement.

The Pull

Master the pull and you master the snatch in my books. When we finally transition from the single arm swing our ability to maintain control of the kettlebell through a different direction of movement can highlight shoulder stability and overall confidence with a kettlebell.

Unlike the kettlebell clean, the pull phase of the kettlebell snatch requires to you still drive through the pop but tame the arc to around forehead height with a bent elbow. This can be counter intuitive as we’ve been drilling the swing for some time. As we get more confident, allowing the bell to hit a “float” point to allow the punch to occur.

The Punch

Punching the bell into the top position will draw on your overhead stability from the kettlebell press and get up. Once we hit the float point of the pull, you should simply be able to punch your hand through the bell into the overhead position.

If this feels unnatural or unachievable, focus on driving the pull as high as you can until the punch feels right.

Pop, Pull & Punch

Putting all three movements can be done by stages to practice each stage. Complete 1 single arm swing, 1 pull and one snatch. Simply return to the single arm swing when you complete the drill and continue. You can also add more swings or spend more time at each movement until you hit a point of confidence.

Top Down Snatch

The final drill you can use to build your confidence around the kettlebell snatch is top down snatches. Clean and press the kettlebell and practice the fall phase of the movement. You can either place the bell on the floor after the hip catch or re-snatch the bell. Repeat this as many times as needed to build your confidence and polish off the final phase of your snatch.

Finally, your snatch is only as good as the amount of time you put into the basics and the drills provided. When you’re progressing to these types of advanced kettlebell movements you need to use patience, hit the requisite standards and only practise when you feel fresh or in small reps.

Time is your best friend when it comes to the kettlebell snatch, take the journeymen approach and you should be able to avoid a lot of the common issues that people encounter.

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