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

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4 thoughts on “Mastering The Kettlebell Snatch (part 3)

  1. Craig

    I wanted to ask a question about catching the bell on the descent. Do you have any suggestions to avoid callouses and ripping up the hands?

    1. admin

      Craig –

      Sure – for one, learning to grip the handle with *just* the right amount of tension helps a lot. This comes with practice – the idea is to be able to go from a loose grip to a tight grip to a loose grip and to be able to easily switch between the two.

      You can also use chalk to reduce friction when you’re doing high rep sets.

      Good luck


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