How to Build a Super Solid Kettlebell Snatch (and Avoid the Dreaded Smack)

Kettlebell Snatch: What Is it?

The kettlebell snatch is a very simple exercise. You grab a barbell with your hands and start swinging it overhead. There are many variations of the kettlebell snatch, but they all have one thing in common – you must control the weight at the top of the movement. If you don’t, then you will fall off balance and lose control over your body position.

There are two main types of kettlebell snatches: front lever and back lever. Front levers involve grabbing the barbell with both hands and lifting it up while using only your arms. Back levers involve grasping the barbell with just one hand and raising it up.

Both variants require you to keep control of the weight at the top of each rep.

If you want to improve your snatch, then you need to focus on developing your front lever strength. If you want to develop your back lever strength, then you need to concentrate on developing your snatch grip. The best way to do so is through kettlebell training.

Why Should I Train My Snatch Grip?

Your snatch grip allows you to lift heavier weights than if you were using a conventional or reverse grip. This is because you can use the strength of your forearm muscles to hold on the barbell while moving your hands close enough towards the bell’s center of mass.

If you don’t practice this grip, then you won’t be able to hold on heavy kettlebells. Front lever training helps you develop that grip and get stronger for everyday tasks. The best way to train your back levers is through kettlebell snatches.

What Muscles Does the Snatch Work?

Snatches work your back, shoulders, and arms. It also helps you develop your core strength and stability. The snatch grip places a lot of stress on your forearms and hands. This is great for building incredible grip strength for picking up heavy objects in life.

What Muscles Does the Snatch Focus On?

Your snatch focuses mainly on your back and forearm strength. Other muscles that are targeted by this move are the hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, and core. The snatch will also help you develop amazing grip and forearm strength. It is a complete body exercise.

How Should I Warm-up For This Exercise?

You should warm up by stretching your hamstrings, shoulders, and back. You should then do some light rowing and lifting to prepare yourself for the heavy lifting ahead. When you are finished with the warm-up, you can start doing your snatch sets. Start off light and get into a rhythm before adding weight.

What Weight Should I Use?

You should start with a weight that is just a little bit heavier than you can lift for 10 perfect repetitions. Once you can do 15 reps without struggling or straining (and that means no cheating), then it is time to add more weight.

Sources & references used in this article:

Demands of the Kettlebell Snatch by JA Ross – 2018 –


Teaching While Black: A new voice on race and education in New York City by JC Herz – 2015 – Harmony