Kettlebell snatch – correct execution technique

Dumbbell pull technique [edit | edit code]

The snatch can be included in the classic biathlon program alongside the clean and jerk (for men) or it can be presented as a separate competitive exercise for women.

A snatch, as opposed to a pull, is performed with a kettlebell for 10 minutes with each hand per turn. When performing a snatch, only one change of hands is allowed.

When performing a snatch, the athlete begins the movement from the starting “kettlebell down” position. In the trajectory of the movement of the kettlebell at the snatch, 4 points can be conditionally distinguished: the swing point, the point of undermining the kettlebell, the point of pushing the hand into the bow of the kettlebell and the end point – the point of attachment of the hand with the kettlebell.

Let’s take a closer look at the entire trajectory of the peso. The swing point is the extreme point from which the forward and upward translational motion of the weight begins. For the most effective execution of the exercise, this point should be located as far back as possible between the athlete’s legs.

This is necessary for maximum inertia force when moving the kettlebell, in order to reduce the load on the arm muscles. Then, from the roll point, the weight begins an inertial motion forward and upward.

However, the inertial force is not infinite and the weight, sooner or later, slows down and stops the inertial movement.

The point at which the inertial force stops moving the weight is the undermining point of the weight. At this point, the athlete begins to exert his own effort to lift the apparatus higher. So what are the actions of the athlete when the trajectory of the kettlebell reaches the point of weakening?

When the trajectory of the kettlebell reaches the point of undermining, the athlete must make certain efforts to ensure its additional movement. At the point of detonation, the athlete performs a sharp reverse motion with the shoulder joint of the hand with the backup kettlebell, creating additional effort for increased kettlebell movement.

The next point of movement of the kettlebell is the insertion point of the hand into the bow. This happens when the projectile is at the level of the athlete’s head. Then comes the fine tuning of the hand with a kettlebell and the fixation itself.

See also:    What weights to choose: cast iron or plastic? Brief relate.

Kettlebell snatch, front view:

Kettlebell snatch, side view:

The trajectory of kettlebell movement on snatch [edit | edit code]

For a more detailed examination of the technique for performing the snatch, I propose to disassemble the entire trajectory of the kettlebell movement at the snatch in dynamics. So the kettlebell movement in the exercise begins with a  swing.

when the athlete brings his hand with the kettlebell to the extreme position between the legs. Footwork is a significant nuance here. For the most rational use of the legs, it is recommended to perform the so-called pendulum movement in the swing, when the athlete’s legs, when the kettlebell passes the lowest point of the trajectory, enters a small squat, followed by the exit . and straightening it at the end or starting point of the swing. At the same time, the quadriceps muscles must relax. When the kettlebell is moved from a swing, the legwork is similar in nature, with the difference that the departure from the sit occurs at the point of
undermining the kettlebell.
. The movement of the kettlebell from the roll point to the break point is inertial, without the effort of the athlete.

Next:  undermine weight

… Undercutting occurs at the point where the weight stops the inertial motion. At this point, the athlete performs a sharp backward movement with a simultaneous reversible movement of the arm with the weight backward, upward, giving the projectile additional momentum to the movement.

The next point on the movement path is the  insertion point of the hand into the bow of the kettlebell.

… The hand is pushed into the arch at the point where the hand with the kettlebell is level with the athlete’s head. Next:
fine tuning
. After pushing the hand into the bow of the kettlebell, the hand continues its inertial upward motion, stopping at the top point.

To reduce the load on the forearm and hand at the time of hand insertion and fixation, I recommend  rotating the kettlebell  at the undercut point.

so that the arch in the posterior movement is parallel to the body. In this case, at the tip of the millet, the hand enters the bow from the side, and not from below, which avoids the impact of the kettlebell on the forearm at the
point of attachment
. In the fixation position, I recommend holding the hand with the kettlebell so that the position of the hand on the arch and the forearm itself is in a straight line, without bending the hand with the kettlebell. This will prevent disruption of the blood supply and will also relax the muscles of the forearm.

The dumping of weights on the swing is also carried out by inertia, without accompanying additional efforts. The hand should be relaxed. The arch is gripped approximately at the point of undermining the weight to ensure sufficient additional inertial motion on the swing.

Here are some general guidelines for the kettlebell snatch technique. Next, consider the exercise training methodology. So since the kettlebell pull differs from the kettlebell pull in terms of the severity of the work performed, the training method of the exercise also differs.

Exercise training methodology [edit | edit code]

The weight of the kettlebell should vary based on the athlete’s fitness level. Snatch training is usually done after the clean and shake workout or as a separate workout.

The temporary training volume ranges from 4 to 20 minutes. Training exercise options can also vary.

In addition to the classic snatch, it is advisable to include exercises such as a snatch with one / two additional swings in the training program, which will allow, together with an additional load on the forearm, to ensure the correct determination of the point of undermining the kettlebell, since when taking an additional swing, a purely inertial movement of the kettlebell is an important condition. … Also, a good exercise would be a snatch with a static hold of the kettlebell in the hanging position and in the fixation position, which will increase the strength of the forearms, triceps and muscles of the shoulder girdle. In addition to the basic exercises in the training process, it is advisable to use the so-called auxiliary exercises. Such exercises include the pull of a kettlebell into a glove, when the bow of the kettlebell is completely magnesium-free and the glove has a smooth texture. This exercise is done after the main work and GPP. Its use in the training process can significantly increase the strength indicators of the forearms. Below is an indicative plan for a monthly starter training process for a prepared athlete. The required result is 180-190 lifts of a 32 kg kettlebell for 10 minutes. Below is an indicative plan for a monthly starter training process for a prepared athlete. The required result is 180-190 lifts of a 32 kg kettlebell for 10 minutes. Below is an indicative plan for a monthly starter training process for a prepared athlete. The required result is 180-190 lifts of a 32 kg kettlebell for 10 minutes.

See also:    Tips for training in the military or how to improve in the military

First week

Third week

  • Monday

32 kg with an additional swing – 6 minutes. The pace is 13 lifts per minute. GPP: 24 kg with two additional changes: 10 minutes. The rate is 10 elevators per minute.

  • Wednesday

32 kg – 7 minutes, 3.5 minutes per coat. The rate is 20-21 lifts per minute. OFP: 22 kg with glove – 10 minutes. The rate is 18-19 lifts per minute.

  • Saturday

30 kg with an additional swing – 140 lifts. The rate is 12-13 lifts per minute.

Fourth week

  • Monday

32 kg – 4 minutes. The rate is 21 lifts per minute. GPP: 26 kg with two additional changes: 10 minutes. The rate is 10 elevators per minute.


32 kg – 6 minutes. The rate is 21 lifts per minute. GPP: 22 kg with gloves – 10 minutes. The rate is 18-19 lifts per minute.

  • Saturday

32 kg: separate training, 5 minutes per arm, rest 2-3 minutes. The rate is 20 lifts per minute.

What muscle groups work?

Although the kettlebell pull develops all major muscle groups, the main profile is the development of the triceps and median delta bundles, which bear the greatest load.

Muscle group Movement phase Type of load
Upper chest pack Primary thrust drive Dynamic boost
Triceps head lateral Kettlebell extension Basic dynamics
Deltas – top beam From kettlebell lifting to final static tension in the fixation Basic dynamics
Deltas – anterior bundle The first phase of the jogging movement. Dynamic boost
Hip biceps Keeping your legs straight while changing bodies Static constant
Quads Give the body a boost Vegetables
Arm biceps flexor Stabilization in the stage of lowering the kettlebell to the shoulder. Static stabilization
Wrist muscles Holding the kettlebell at all stages Static
Trapezius muscles Keeping the kettlebell on the shoulder at the correct angle Dynamic secondary
Rhomboid muscles Transmission of the primary drive from the quadriceps + body stabilization Pulse + static
Lumbar muscles Stabilization of the core throughout the exercise. Static stabilization
Gluteal muscles Creating extra momentum with a two-handed push Dynamic boost

As can be seen from the table, despite the involvement of large muscle groups, the shoulder and forearm muscles take on the main dynamic load on themselves. Thanks to this, kettlebell lifting complexes perfectly work the small muscles of the arms, which lag behind in people who practice only basic movements.

Variants and special preparatory exercises for training the kettlebell snatch [edit | edit code]

Source: Kettlebell Lifting. Kettlebell Training «

… Leadership.
instructor Pavel Tsatsulin, 2015

A quick and powerful one-handed pull is the king of kettlebell exercises. The Russian military uses pulls rather than push-ups for testing, and they are rapidly gaining popularity in the US military. You can find kettlebells in many places where American troops are stationed. US Special Forces conduct a 10-minute jolt test with a 24-kilogram kettlebell. During the test, you can change the “working” hand, and the result of 200 repetitions deserves respect.

The snatch will build iron back, legs and toes, build endurance, and have a beneficial effect on results when running, jumping, fighting, and other types of physical activity. Last but not least, snatching builds willpower and increases pain threshold.

Exercise: kettlebell snatch [edit | edit code]


The kettlebell pull is performed first with one hand and then the other.

Also read:    Key features of the rules for competitions in the IKSF kettlebell triathlon – excerpts


  1. All control points are the same as for the swing, except for the requirement to keep the arm straight throughout the exercise.
  2. Take a kettlebell, roll it back between your legs, and pull it over your head in one continuous motion, fully stretching your arm only in the final phase of the movement.
  3. Gently grasp the kettlebell without hitting your forearm or jolting your elbow and shoulder.
  4. In the final phase, the hand should be aligned with or behind the head.
  5. Fix the posture: arms and legs straight, the body is immobile.
  6. Lower the kettlebell to a position between your legs in a free, continuous motion without touching your chest and shoulder, then move again.

Jerks. Level 1: high thrust [edit | edit code]

An exercise from Anthony Diluglio, a master of kettlebell lifting, can significantly reduce the time to learn snatch technique.

Swing the kettlebell back between your legs, just like before swinging or lifting a weight on your chest. Straighten your legs and swing your elbow back over your shoulder. Use your upper back muscles, not your biceps. Imagine hitting your elbow instead of lifting it. Synchronize the actions of your legs and back.

At the top of the row, the kettlebell should be an extension of your forearm, not higher or lower.

At the bottom of the kettlebell row, half of the work is done by intensely extending your arm, rather than twisting and lowering the kettlebell. So you can work harder on your upper back muscles and keep your balance. Push yourself for a moment to achieve weightlessness from the kettlebell, so that if you want, you can release the handle and grab it again without interrupting the exercise.

Lower the kettlebell between your legs and continue the exercise.

Rows are powerful exercises in their own right, not just a snatch exercise. The day after you do them, your trapezius muscles may hurt.

Jerks. Level 2: stop [edit | edit code]

The pull is done with the strength of the legs, the hand only gives the direction of the kettlebell. You can think of a board as a three-stage rocket launch.

The first step is the legs. They work by moving the weight until it reaches chest level.

The second stage is connected by muscles in the upper back, which pull the shoulder back. The movement is similar to trying to start a boat engine or chainsaw. Do you remember the high pulls? This stage is faster than the first, it is less powerful.

The third stage: At this stage, the hand with the kettlebell should be weightless. The third stage is fast, not all the power is used here. The hand does not lift the weight, it just puts it into orbit. One quick hit and the weight will fall into place.

Don’t forget the kettlebell. Unless you are flexible enough to comfortably launch the kettlebell from a stop, you won’t be good at shaking. He works in the Turkish elevator.

Jerks. Level 3: Forearm safety [edit | edit code]

Do a thought experiment: Imagine balancing the kettlebell over your head until the bottom of the kettlebell is facing upward. Holding the handle with a free grip will cause the weight to rotate more by inertia and hit you on the forearm. You don’t need this.

Remember the secret to “taming the bow” and reduce the distance between the kettlebell and your forearm as quickly as possible. Imagine that the snatch is a high deadlift followed by an instant hit with the “working” hand. When the kettlebell reaches the top, don’t allow it to twist around the handle, moving along a long path followed by a blow to the forearm. Instead, tap the bottom of your palm up on the handle of the kettlebell and you will see the kettlebell land gently on your forearm without hitting it. Execute the blow before it seems to you that it is time to do it, execute it at head level. The hand pierces the handle of the kettlebell like a spear, as if putting on a glove. Rotate your hand around the kettlebell, not the other way around. You may notice that the kettlebell does not move directly over the fist, but rather rolls over the forearm. This is normal. Develop your style.

Don’t get carried away with jerks until you’ve mastered the soft landing of the kettlebell. Get a little practice every day and increase the required load with swings and other exercises.

Jerks. Level 4: Do not force the shoulder or elbow [edit | edit code]

Don’t try to pull with your biceps. Pull your shoulder in and lock your elbow just before stopping, otherwise your shoulder and elbow will hang with each rep.

Remember the Turkish ascent: “Imagine that the source of energy is in the locked elbow, the energy flows from it to the wrist and shoulder. The arm is simultaneously lengthened in the direction of the kettlebell and strongly presses the shoulder against the shoulder joint «. This is what you need to accomplish before the final phase of the script.

Relax your arm as soon as your shoulder is loaded. Open your fist, you can even move your fingers, letting the blood flow down. Do not allow your hand to bend at the wrist.

Jerks. Level 5: launch [edit | edit code]

Throwing a kettlebell won’t blow your nose. The correct execution of this action will allow another repetition, while the incorrect one can lead to injuries to the elbow and shoulder.

Nothing new. Pelvis first. Bend your pelvic joint and lower the kettlebell behind you with your arm straight. Lower the kettlebell closer to your body. Doing the exercise against a wall is too risky, but you can imagine a wall in front of you. The movement ends at the heels.

When throwing a kettlebell, you can simultaneously swing your free hand back. In this case, when lifting the kettlebell, the free hand is raised to the defensive boxing position. (This technique can be used with one-handed swings.)

Tips [edit | edit code]

Quick tips based on the exercise techniques described above.

  • Pelvis First On the way down, fold your hip joints like you have hinges.
  • On the way up, start moving with your hips, not letting your knees “roll” forward.
  • To tame the bow on the way down, use the long pass move.
  • use the “start chainsaw” motion on the way up.
  • Pull and Pull High: Incline the kettlebell only at the highest point.
  • Bearing Weight on Your Chest: Imagine you are lifting a kettlebell to your waist, not your shoulder.
  • Breathing in Forcefully As you move the kettlebell down, inhale sharply through your stomach through your nose.
  • At the top, take a partial exhale with a strong “hack.”
  • “Breathe behind the shield”: at the moment of vulnerability of the spine, keep the press ready to strike.
  • Free movement Keep your hands free.
  • hold the handle of the kettlebell with the “hook” and do not squeeze it.
  • Use the laws of mechanics (just to start) pull the shoulder before locking the elbow.
  • Lock your elbow completely (extend the elbow all the way).

Nuances when performing a kettlebell snatch

There are several guidelines to keep in mind when training with the kettlebell:

  • The first tip refers to the center of gravity when exercising. In the initial phase, it is necessary to transfer the weight to the heels, pulling a few small toes off the ground. As soon as the projectile passes the line of adjustment of the legs, it is necessary to begin to shift the weight towards the middle of the foot and towards the socks, this time ripping off the heels. At the final stage, when the projectile is thrown into the hand, it is necessary to transfer the weight back to the heels.
  • When lowering the kettlebell to its original state, it is necessary to learn to relax as much as possible. This is necessary to give yourself time to recover before the next rep.
  • It is very important to observe the breath when performing the movement. Experienced athletes are able to perform two full inhalation-exhalation cycles while the projectile is in motion. One or two more cycles are performed while the weight is at its highest.
  • To avoid hitting the hand with a projectile, it is necessary to start “catching” it even before the hand has finished unfolding.
  • At the top, the kettlebell should be on the athlete’s fully extended arm. At this point, pushing to straighten the arm is prohibited. However, during the arm lift, the elbow is allowed to bend slightly.

Boot training [edit | edit code]

Main article:
Kettlebell training program

Strength and endurance are achieved in different ways. You need  idiots  to build stamina

and swing.

High rep kettlebell rows are performed on the same days as the bench press, after the bench press. Your training should not be measured in reps, but in minutes, like the snatch test in the USSR. Open Dan John’s book, roll a pair of dice, and try your luck. If two units are thrown, snatch for two minutes, if it’s a pair of six, consider yourself lucky and snatch for 12 minutes.

Follow a hard-light-medium training pattern. Saturday is a hard day. Add swings. Find out how many reps you can do in the time you are given the dice. You can do many or few repetitions at will, lower the kettlebells to the ground if necessary, the main thing is that it costs you. This is how you become the best.

Monday is an easy day. This is the day of the idiots. Roll the dice again and do 50-60% of the reps you can do if you go all the way.

Wednesday is a normal day. Swing again. 70-80% of the maximum. You don’t have to be very precise. Approximately, this is normal. The key concept of this training should be “moderation.” As one of my students said, even “a comfortable stop.”

For example, let’s say you swung the entire course on Saturday and did 100 reps in 5 minutes. On Monday, the dice gave 10, you snatch, but you only press half for 75 reps. Wednesday is a normal swing day. Again you have 5 minutes and you do 70 swings. Keep accurate records. This is what a workout should look like.

  • Mahi 24kg x 100 in 5 minutes is a tough workout.
  • Kicking 24kg x 75 in 10 minutes is an easy workout.
  • Mahi 24kg x 70 in 5 minutes is an average workout.

Ten minute pull test of the USSR special forces [edit | edit code]

The kettlebell pull is performed the maximum number of times in 10 minutes. All fighters use a 24 kg kettlebell, they also need uniforms, appropriate shoes and a stopwatch.

Required sports quality: endurance strength.

Features and benefits of kettlebell lifting

The kettlebell lifting has several important characteristics. The first of these is the rapid development of the athlete’s strength characteristics and, mainly, an increase in their endurance strength. The second characteristic is that it is one of the few sports that involves muscle groups throughout the body. At the same time, all movements with kettlebells, from the point of view of technical implementation, are not considered difficult.

Usually one or two lessons are assigned for complete mastery of the technique. Thanks to this quick learning, it is possible to start a full workout after a few sessions.

The main advantages of this sport, of course, include the fact that you can exercise almost anywhere, and the benefits of exercise are enormous. Also, a child who has reached the age of 13 or 14 can participate in kettlebell lifting. With the help of exercises with such a projectile, you can quickly develop strength and endurance in a teenager, as well as improve his general physical condition, which is quite capable of increasing his performance. Due to the peculiarities of this sport, success in it is not evaluated by the maximum weight of the kettlebell that the athlete can lift, but by the number of lifts.

Board rules [edit | edit code]

Dress code [edit | edit code]

Participants must wear T-shirts tucked into long pants, military boots, or other sturdy boots on their feet. Clothes must be clean and ironed, shoes must be clean. The dress code will be strictly controlled.

If a trouser belt is used, it should fit on the hips and not support the spine like a corset. A weightlifting belt cannot be used, but gloves, wrist bands, or other devices can be used.

Use magnesia [edit | edit code]

The athlete can use magnesium to improve grip. The projectile is cleaned of chalk after each test or if requested by another participant.

Categories: crossfit