Master The Kettlebell Snatch for Beginners

My clients tell me all the time...

"I hate burpees."

I know deep down they love them though... who doesn't! 😉

When they say they hate burpees... I tell them...

"Wait until you try the kettlebell snatch!"

It's one of the most intense... heart pounding... muscle burning exercises ever.

It's blazing fast...

It requires total concentration...

Amazing balance...

And technical skill!

So let's turn you into a true kettlebellista and master the kettlebell snatch.

Start Like The Swing

Remember when we looked at the hip hinge during the deadlift and detailed the kettlebell swing ?

I said that the hinge and swing motion are the foundation of nearly all kettlebell exercises. It holds true here.

Set up like you're going to do a single arm swing.

Hike the kettlebell back to load your hips... ready to fire full blast.


Elbow Close Like The Clean

Remember when we learned to clean the kettlebell ?

It was all about keeping your elbow close to the body because that's how you direct the kettlebell up and not out.

This is the key movement I talked about... keep your elbow close to your body.

The same idea here with one little twist...

When you keep your elbow close to your body and that kettlebell starts to move up... pull hard on the kettlebell up towards the sky


You Need to Make The Kettlebell Float

The kettlebell snatch is heavy on momentum.

From your stomach to your neck the kettlebell is weightless.

It's moving upwards because you pulled on it hard at the bottom... NOT because you're lifting it up through this section.

In fact, the arm that has the kettlebell is turned off... no muscle tension.

Floating the kettlebell is key because it's what makes the ending easy and graceful.


Punch Around The Kettlebell And Reach Up

It's time for your power pose!

You're going to finish with your arm reached up high... extending through the shoulder... like you just finished a killer concert and this the power pose you leave the audience with.


The punch around (or more under) the kettlebell.

Remember when we talked about the kettlebell clean and the punch around ?

It the same idea here... but it's more like a punch under and up.

As the kettlebell floats up at your neck level...

Your elbow is bent and the kettlebell is slightly higher than your elbow level.

  • Bullet point

    You are going to punch slightly away from you...

  • Bullet point

    And UP as you reach to the sky and finish in your power pose...

Legs locked out and muscle tension tight... hand is now squeezing the kettlebell handle... muscle tension through your arm.



This is what it comes down to... practice.

Here's a 2 minute snatch lesson I filmed that can help tie all this together:

Just like learning the kettlebell clean... you need to practice this punch around until you can do it smoothly. With zero pain as the kettlebell gently lands on your forearm.

All it takes is practice.

Film yourself with your phone so you can see what you look like.

Compare it to my video and find where you can improve. Filming helps so much!

intensity tip

Don't stay too light.

When my clients learn kettlebells... they tend to stay too light too long.

When the kettlebell is too light... you can't feel if you're doing the exercise correctly.

Especially with kettlebells... because they're so momentum driven... you need to feel the weight.

So once you feel like you have some decent technique...

Go heavier. Go one kettlebell up.

This will force you to feel the weight and use the correct muscles and you'll learn much faster!

Final Snatch Tips

As you're learning...

1. Don't drop directly into the next kettlebell snatch from the top.

Rather... bring the kettlebell back into rack... toss it off your body into a swing... and go from there.

Once you get more confidence... then start linking the snatches together full blast.

2. Focus on balance

Keep your balance.

It's okay to shift weight around during the snatch. After all... this is a very dynamic exercise. But all in all... you should have solid footing on the ground.

Your weight is not too far forward... and you're not falling back on your heels.

3. Straight wrists.

At the top, make sure to keep your wrist straight to avoid pressure on the joint or the arm pulling back.

This is NOT what you want:


As you improve... check out this post on 10 variations of the kettlebell snatch . You'll love them!

Watch the slow motion video above and if you have any questions... hit me up on my social account below. I love helping!

Then head back to the kettlebell hub and learn the next move because there's nothing better than kettlebell training.


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