Kettlebell Snatch Technique

The kettlebell snatch is one of the most difficult moves to get right, and should only be attempted after mastery of the kettlebell clean; the lift basically involves lifting the kettlebell from the ground to the overhead locked out position in one move.

The most challenging part of the kettlebell snatch is getting the punch through at the end of the move right; so that you can position the kettlebell behind your wrist without is banging and bruising it.


The sequence of the move as follows

  • Use the kettlebell swing technique, hike pass the kettlebell through your legs and perform the swing, but instead of fully extended arms at the top you will shorten it by bending at the elbows, this is done in order to position the kettlebell just 6 inches in front of your chest. In order to achieve this you will gradually close the distance between your shoulders and the kettlebell by bending the elbow, and pointing the elbow behind you.

Note: Just like the swing the kettlebell needs to be in a straight line with your forearm, all throughout the snatch until the punch through

  • When the kettlebell reaches the chest height, you will reverse pull the kettlebell using your shoulders and your lats, do not try to strong arm the kettlebell, you will wear your arms out.
  • When the kettlebell goes just higher than your head, you need to begin the punch through to extend and lock out your arms to complete the lift. Timing is crucial here, and the secret to not banging the kettlebell onto your arm is to not let it fall on the back of your arm, but rather to punch through with your arm. A mistake a lot of people make is they leave it til too late for the punch through and the kettlebell is already too high, and must fall down and bang on your wrists.

Note: If you are leaving the punch through too late, you may need to revise your technique and gradually punch through sooner.

  • The correct time to punch through is when the kettlebell is at 0 gravity, where it’s stopped going up, there is a slight pause, before it’s about to go down, do the punch through. When you punch through correctly the ball of the kettlebell stays in the same position as before the punch through, and it seems like only the handle has changed from bottom to top. Effectively there has not been any descent of the kettlebell, therefore no banging.

You may need to practice this technique several times over in order to get this right, to prevent excessive bruising, use a very light weight to perfect the technique.

1 comment to Kettlebell Snatch Technique

  • Paul Treadwell

    Did this for the first time today i only got my first Kettlebell three days ago!I did managed to do it for the full 10 minutes using 7.5kg, but im cream crackered!

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