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Kettlebell Snatch Technique: Are You Making These 3 Common Snatch Mistakes?

The kettlebell snatch is the exercise that once perfected you feel like a true kettlebell beast.

And for good reason:

Snatches are tough!

The good news: I've taught hundreds of people of all fitness levels how to master their kettlebell snatch technique. If things aren't feeling right, that's okay.

Chances are high you're making one of the following three mistakes.

1. Bending Your Wrist

At the top of a snatch, your arm should be completely straight.

It might seem more comfortable to bend the wrist back (so the knuckles are at a 90-degree angle) but don't do it!

This can put the shoulder in a compromised position, cause injury, and for sure will slow your progress.

Have you ever seen someone open their hand at the top of the snatch (like a high five)? They're doing this to focus on keeping the arm straight. If fingers are pointed to the sky, the wrist can't be bent back.

BTW... I don't suggest opening the hand at the top, it takes too much time. But it gives a good mental image.

2. Not Powering Through The Hips & Glutes

It might come across as an upper body move but looks can be deceiving.

Snatches should be powered through a strong, explosive hip hinge and drive through the hamstrings to fire the glutes.

The arm is there to direct the kettlebell where to go but all the hard work comes from the lower body.

Focus on pressing your feet into the ground, pushing the hips back at the bottom of the hinge, then exploding those hips forward to return to standing while squeezing your butt and hamstrings TIGHT!

Otherwise, your snatch will look more like a clean and press or even a curl to press.
Don't muscle it up.

Use those strong legs to toss it to the sky!

3. Straight Arming

Ouch. This mistakes hurts.

Straight arming means you keep the elbow locked and arm outstretched in front as the kettlebell goes up. At the top, it painfully flops over your hand.

It hurts. It's hard on the shoulder. And it's wrong.

Instead, the snatch is initiated with a high pull.

There is a bend in the elbow as the kettlebell stays close to body (and directly in front).

Then, as the kettlebell gets between shoulder and ear height, the hand goes around the kettlebell. The kettlebell does not go around the hand.

Make sure to watch the video, there is a slow-mo example at the end!

How To Know If You're Doing It Right?

Do what I did.

Set up your phone and film yourself. All three of these problems are pretty easy to identify.

Once you know what you're doing right and wrong, practice. Practice is really the most important part of getting a kettlebell snatch.

Take videos regularly and keep working on it.

Come back here to compare and re-evaluate.

Even better, in FWW Live, we encourage our members to post their form videos whenever in doubt. I will personally look them over and give feedback.

One more reason to try FWW Live !

And once you have your kettlebell snatch perfected, it's time to start working on snatch variations !

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