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Kettlebell Snatch Technique


I just got my first kettlebell and today I was having some trouble with the catch on the snatch. I doesnt feel right. Possible damage to my wrist of shoulder when the bell hits my forearm.

Any tips?


grip it tighter so the bell stays above your hand.



most likely you are muscling it up. drive through the heels.
The picture you have to remember is to move the axis of rotation to not be at the handle. Make the axis the center of the bell, with the handle rotating around it. as the force of your hip drive carries the bell up, there will be a time when the bell is weightless.

It is then that you pull toward your body and then punch through it. That may be hard to visualize by description, but remember momentum, axis of rotation, and most importantly, the angry, powerful drive of your hips leading the way.


I feel the most important part of the technique is the high pull. Make sure this is of good form and punch through at top of movement.


Try not jumping on the hype of what ever is the shining, cool old is new thing...

Kettlebells hmmft balderdash oh well I am off now to drink whole milk, pop liver tabs and try on my tarzan loincloth while watching leave it to beaver... The beav is such a rascal..


Thanks guys, that video looks pretty good. I'll give that a practice today.


Yeah. Harden the fuck up.

But seriously, find one of Pavel's books or DVD's. They can cut a lot of the crap out of your technique pretty quickly.

From the Evil Russian himself...

"The one arm snatch is the Tsar of kettlebell lifts, fluid and viscious. It will even humble studly powerlifters."

Rumour has it that some his work is found on torrent sites. I myself paid full price for his work and are fully satisfied with the information it provides.


I used to have a big problem with this, ie, smashed forearms, and I've recently overcome it with the descriptions in Enter the Kettlebell and some experimenting.

In Enter the Kettlebell Pavel talks about "taming the arc." When you watch the video from the original Kettlebell Challenge it appears, to me at least, that the pull on the snatch is with the arm fully extended. Pavel clears this up and says that the pull should be closer to the body.

So here's the technique changes I've made that seem to work:

  1. Pull the bell more or less straight up, closer to the body. Move the body back during the pull and forward during the catch--this is subtle.

  2. Time it so that the bell reaches the top of its arc just short of full extension.

  3. When the bell reaches that point in 2., spin bell over and punch up. This should make the bell rest on your forearm w/o pain or otherwise smashing the forearm.

  4. Don't use a tight grip, but a controlled grip that becomes looser to allow for rotation at the top and bottom.

  5. Spin the bell and lower it in a similar straight down and close to the body fashion.

  6. Bonus: Oddly, I've found it more difficult to snatch w/o pain with the 16kg bell than the 24kg bell. Just too light I guess.

If you're serious about KB training, get Enter the KB. Great book. While your at it, get Beyond Bodybuilding too, another great, great book.


Same here. I whack the crap out of my forearms when I use lighter KBs.

I agree. They are both great, great books, as are Power to the People and The Naked Warrior.

I know there are tons of Pavel-haters - don't listen to them.


btw, there are also a tons of great videos that are archived at artofstrength.com Anthony DiLuglio sends out his "Minute of Strength" videos with his newsletter.



I think I've got it. If I do the high pull like the dude from cross fit says in the video I can snatch smoothly. I'll have a read of Pavels stuff, I think i still have the pdfs.


I've pretty much got the snatch, but the clean is whats getting me now. I'm not a huge fan of single arm cleans, but I have a kettlebell challenge that requires them, so i gotta learn it.


Imagine that you are doing an upper-cut with the kettlebell, bringing your fist in and up while supinating the hand. Don't let it flop over.