Excercise: Snatch

Everyone needs to master the all-important snatch. Heavy or high-repetition snatch lifting will develop your core & grip strength as well as functional strength. The snatch has been described as an “overhead clean”, so if you can perfrom the “swing” and the “clean”, you are ready for the snatch.

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  1. Hold the kettlebell in one hand. (Figure 1)
  2. Take a shoulder-width stance, keeping your knees slightly bent.
  3. Swing the KB back between your legs; sitting “back” rather than “down.” (Figure 2)
  4. Explosively snap through your hips to full extension; letting the KB project upward. (Figure 3)
  5. Simultaneously lock out your arm and quickly dip down slightly – as if to get underneath the KB.
  6. Punch your arm up into the air, closing the distance between the KB and your forearm. (Figure 4)
  7. Lock out the knees, hips, and elbows.
  8. After mastering the technique and timing of this drill, the KB will not bang or jar your arm or shoulder. The KB should land gently and feel almost weightless at the top.
  9. In the finished position: the working arm and legs are straight and locked, the feet and body are stationary, the arm must be level with the head or slightly behind the head and hold this position for at least one second.
  10. Lower the KB in one smooth, uninterrupted motion. Do not let the KB touch your chest or shoulder. Be sure to keep your core tight so the momentum of the KB will not pull you out of position, jar your wrist joint, or stress your back.


  1. Warm up with one-arm swing and cleans.
  2. Look straight ahead at all times.
  3. Master the timing and landing of the KB in the overhead position before embarking on high-rep routines.
  4. You may rest in the overhead lockout position.
  5. Don’t negative curl the KB on the way down; keep your arm loose.
  6. Increase the number of reps gradually to allow your palms to toughen.

Dumbell Snatch – perform the snatch in the exact same manner as described above. Due to the width of the dumbell be sure to rotate your hand, pointing the thumb backward, BEFORE swinging it between your legs. At the top (overhead finished position) rotate your wrist so the palm faces in toward your head.

Dumbell 1
Dumbell 1

Dumbell 4
Dumbell 2

Dumbell 2
Dumbell 3

Dumbell 3
Dumbell 4