Master the kettlebell snatch

Kettlebell swing

The snatch is a dynamic kettlebell exercise which is considered by many as the ultimate kettlebell exercise.

The snatch is as explosive compound movement which strengthens the posterior chain and shoulder girdle.

The kettlebell snatch carries over to general activities of daily living and sports due to the powerful snapping hip extension involved.

Muscles used during the snatch

With all dynamic kettlebell exercises there is a demand for large muscle recruitment.

Below are the specific lower body muscles used during the kettlebell snatch.

Muscles used in kettlebell swing

Coaching points for the snatch

Begin the snatch by performing a one-arm swing. Use the 'hip snap' to get the arc of the bell high, but at the top of the arc continue to move the kettlebell up to a vertical arm position.

Use an almost high pull action by bending the arm followed by a fast vertical punch upwards to fully straighten the arm. Use a fast, smooth action to catch the bell at the top and prevent it from banging the forearm.

Pause, looking forwards with the arm straight next to the ear and the shoulder stable. Fluidly lower the bell so it drops down between the legs.

How it should be executed

To be able to execute the snatch correctly, it needs to be broken down into the ascending and descending phases. 

See how its should be performed in this demonstration video which we have broken down into the two phases.

Common mistakes

The snatch is a dynamic exercise which has many benefits once executed correctly, however with lack of practice or poor execution then injury can occur.

When performing the swing make sure that you avoid:

Knee and hip flexion (Squatting).

Spinal hyperextension.

Lack of punch at top movement.

Alternative exercises

Once you are comfortable with the snatch you may wish to progress and try the following alternative exercises which are slightly more challenging;

Double snatch.

Alternative snatch.


Download our free kettlebell exercise guide.

Download our free booklet here, explaining exactly how to complete the 7 different fundamental kettlebell exercises which will be a great addition to your or your clients workouts.



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