Mastering The Kettlebell Snatch (part 3)

The kettlebell snatch is great exercise, but learning good technique can be tricky.  Today’s post is the last in a three-part series on Mastering the Kettlebell Snatch.

In part one of the series, we talked about the lockout phase of the movement. In part two, we covered the downswing.  Now, in today’s final installment, we’ll cover the upswing.

Here’s a video that covers part three in detail – watch it first:

Video Recap

We’ve now progressed to performing a full kettlebell snatch. We’ll start with the ‘bell about one foot in front of us (the same set up as a swing).

To start the move, hike pass the weight back – again, the same ‘start’ as the swing. But, instead of swinging the weight in front of you and up to shoulder height, we’re going to go straight overhead with the move into a snatch.


The arc of snatch is much closer to the body than the swing.

And so to drill this idea down, we’ll perform the following progression:

  • Three one-hand swings.
  • Three high pulls – try to make the ‘bell ‘float’ at the top by pulling the elbow back and snapping the hips simultaneously.
  • Three snatches. The snatch will simply be an extension of the high pull. The weight floats at the top during the high pull, and then we get our hand around the ‘bell to finish the snatch.

Again, perfecting your form on the kettlebell snatch takes work.  If you’re having trouble learning the movement or if you’re just looking to refine your form, go through the three step learning progression I’ve outlined in this article and video series. Good luck and keep training hard!

Forest Vance, Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor

P.S. Signed up for my weekly newsletter yet? You’ll get my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training when you do so, along with tips and tricks just like these delivered straight to your e-mail inbox each and every week. Just drop your best e-mail and name into the box at the upper right of the page to sign now!

15 Minute Kettlebell Combo Workout

Quick new kettlebell combo workout for you today:

  • 1 Turkish Get Up
  • 2 KB ‘Thusters’
  • 3 KB Snatches

Perform each exercise back-to-back without setting the kettlebell down. Do three to five combos on each side total as fast as you can.

This is a perfect full-body workout you can do with a single kettlebell and in 15 minutes or less.

It’s actually a sample from my new Kettlebell Basics Premium Workouts program.

And if you want the full version of this workout – including detailed exercise description with video and companion manual – you can do so by clicking the link below:

Kettlebell Basics Premium Workouts

Have a great weekend!

Forest Vance, RKC

Mastering The Kettlebell Snatch (part 2)

Back today with part two of my ‘Mastering The Kettlebell Snatch’ video series –

First, watch the video:

Video Recap

If you remember, part one of mastering the snatch is the lockout (by the way, be sure to read part one of this post series and watch the video if you haven’t yet – you can do that by clicking here).

Part two of mastering the kettlebell snatch is the downswing.  Here are your coaching points:

  • To start the downswing phase of the snatch, from your overhead lockout position, think about closing the distance from the elbow to the rib cage as fast as possible to bring the kettlebell down.
  • The arc of the snatch is much closer to the body than the arc of the swing.
  • Another good coaching point for this part of the snatch is to think about throwing the kettlebell through the stomach.
  • If you were to take a snapshot of the kettlebell at the bottom position, it would look identical a one arm swing (another reason why it’s so important that you master the HardStyle swing before moving on to more advanced drills like the snatch).

Work on perfecting your snatch downswing, and I’ll catch you next time when we cover the third and final component to mastering the Snatch: The upswing!


P.S. The kettlebell snatch is a key exercise in a ‘premium’ package of smokin’ kettlebell combos (workout manual and video kettlebell training program) I have coming for you in just a couple of days … if you’re interested, keep an eye on your email inbox for details! I’ll be sending out a message as soon as it’s available.

Mastering The Kettlebell Snatch (part 1)

The kettlebell snatch is a highly technical move.  But taking the time to master it is well worth it – you’ll have a great exercise under your belt for power generation, world-class conditioning, and a whole lot more.

Over the next few blog posts, I’m going to teach you the three most important elements you need to learn to master the kettlebell snatch. In part one (this post), we’re going to cover the lockout.

First, watch this short video – it covers this first ‘phase’ of the learning process and some tips on how to practice:

Video Recap

You’ll start with a kettlebell between the feet in a sumo deadlift position. Cheat curl the ‘bell up to your shoulder and press it up over your head. All we’re trying to do is get comfortable with our overhead lockout position.

The bicep should be right by the ear. A common mistake is to hold the ‘bell slightly in front of the body. If you lack proper shoulder mobility, this is likely going to be a problem for you (all the more reason to practice your Turkish getups).

A great drill to practice and get comfortable in this lockout position is an overhead walk. To perform this drill, you would simply get the KB pressed over your head and walk around the room with it. If your elbow is bent, or the kettlebell is out in front of you too far, this is nearly impossible – and that this drill is very self-correcting is part of the beauty of it.

Developing a great lockout is critical to mastering the kettlebell snatch; with tips covered this article and video, you’ll have it down in no time. Practice what we talked about today, and I’ll see you next time for part two in mastering the kettlebell snatch series!

P.S. Don’t forget – if you want a complete guide to mastering the basics of kettlebell training – including the snatch – check out the Quick Start Guide by clicking here

P.S. Signed up for my weekly newsletter yet? You’ll get kettlebell training tips and tricks like the ones covered in this article and video delivered straight to your e-mail inbox every week – plus, I have a special kettlebell training video and beginners guide FREE for new subscribers! Just drop your name and best e-mail into the box at the upper right of the page to sign up now!

How To Purchase Kettlebells (5 steps)

Thinking about purchasing your first kettlebell(s)? Looking to add some new weights to your arsenal?

Here’s how to purchase kettlebells in five easy steps:

Step one – preliminary research

There’s all kinds of freely available information about kettlebells on the internet – and this blog, of course, is a great place to start 🙂

If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to simply learn all you can about the basics of kettlebell training to make sure it’s right for you. Check out this recent blog post for a great overview:

Kettlebell Blog Overview – The Best Of

Step two – try before you buy

Most folks I see for kettlebell training sessions are just getting started with them – and it’s certainly a good idea to get some in-person instruction to make sure you learn the basics right the first time around.

If you’re in a relatively big city, there’s likely an RKC certified instructor near you – to search for one in your area, click here

Step three – determine the weight of kettlebells you’ll need

Depending on your starting fitness level, your experience with kettlebell training, and a host of other factors, you’ll need to determine what size kettlebell you’ll need.

I actually have an entire post about this here, so I’ll direct you to that if you need more info:

I’m Going To Purchase Some Kettlebells; What Size Do I Need?

Step four – shop around

Your two basic options when you’re looking to purchase kettlbells are 1) buying locally or 2) ordering online.

Search around sporting goods stores in your area if you’re looking to buy locally. The advantages here are that you can see the kettlebells before you buy them, you potentially save on shipping costs, and you don’t have to wait – you could run out and buy your kettlebells today.

You might even try looking on places like craigslist or local classified publications – after all, used kettlebells are often times just as good as new ones.

Ordering online, you’ll likely be able to get a better deal on the ‘bells themselves. You’ll also have more selection, as there are dozens of kettlebell brands you can order on the Internet.

My personal preference, of course, is Dragon Door kettlebells. Of the half dozen or so brands of kettlebells I’ve trained with, these are hands down the best. They are the best balanced, have the smoothest grips, and just are all-around well-built. A good testament to how much I like them is the fact that I’ve outfitted my training studio with Dragon Door ‘bells almost exclusively.

Step five – pickup any extras

Proper instruction is what will make your kettlebell training a success or failure. So at the very minimum, make sure you get some quality instructional materials (click here for more details on kettlebell training resources).

Enter the Kettlebell by Pavel is another great resource to get you pointed in the right direction when you’re first starting out, as is the recommended resources section of this blog.

If you’re looking to purchase kettlebells, a bit of planning will go a long way in helping you select the right sizes, get the highest quality, and get the most out of the training you’re planning on doing with them. Good luck!


P.S. Have you signed up for my weekly newsletter yet? When you do, you’ll get TWO awesome free gifts as my way of saying thank you – plus you’ll get first news of all the kettlebell training tips, videos, and workouts I post up on this blog – just drop your name and e-mail into the box at the upper right hand corner of the page to sign up now!