Kettlebell Snatch: The Best Way To Get Stronger And More Muscular?
The best way to get stronger and more muscular is to do it with the right exercises. There are many different types of strength training programs out there. You can choose one or you can try several. However, if you want to get bigger and stronger, then you need to train with the correct exercises. One of the most effective ways to build muscle mass is through weight lifting. The main reason why so many people use kettlebells is because they are cheap and easy to acquire.
So what’s wrong with using them?
Well, there are a few things which make kettlebell snatch a good exercise but not ideal for building muscle mass.
First of all, kettlebells are heavy. They are heavier than dumbbells and barbells. Therefore, they don’t allow you to use proper form when performing the exercise. If you’re going to perform a kettlebell snatch correctly, you have to use proper technique while holding the weights.
Also, kettlebells aren’t very flexible; therefore, they won’t allow you to move around during the movement properly. When you’re lifting heavy dumbbells or barbells, it’s easier to keep your balance and form. The kettlebell snatch is an effective exercise for building lower body strength and improving your aerobic endurance. However, if you’re looking to build more muscle mass, then this exercise isn’t ideal.
The second reason why this exercise isn’t ideal for building muscle mass is because it’s not an exercise that is commonly used in competition. There are several weight lifting sports out there. One of the most popular is powerlifting and it involves the three big lifts: the squat, deadlift and bench press. The kettlebell snatch doesn’t feature in this sport.
This is another reason why you shouldn’t use this exercise if you’re looking to build as much muscle mass as possible.
Well when you train for a competitive sport, your body adapts to that specific type of training. So if you’re training like an athlete, you’ll become a better athlete.
There are many different types of exercises out there so it’s easy to get confused about what you should or shouldn’t do. As we’ve already said, the kettlebell snatch is an effective exercise but it isn’t ideal if you’re looking to gain more mass. The barbell back squat and the bench press are better choices. If you want to maximize your gains, then you should pick exercises which are used in weightlifting competitions.
Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift
The kettlebell single leg deadlift (or unilateral deadlift) mainly targets your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Because it’s just one leg doing all the work, your core has to contract very hard to keep you straight and stable.
To perform this movement you’ll need to get into the same position as the kettlebell snatch but instead of swinging the weight between your legs, you’ll lift it up with one leg and then slowly lower it back down. This is a very difficult exercise so don’t rush through the movement. Make sure you control the weight at all times.
Kettlebell Clean And Press
The kettlebell clean and press is an explosive but very demanding exercise. Not only will it improve your strength and power but it will also improve your grip strength.
To perform this movement you’ll get into position just like you did for the kettlebell snatch except this time you’re going to swing the weight up to your chest and then press it up over your head. This is one continuous movement. Make sure you contract your chest, shoulders, and abs when pressing the weight over your head. Don’t use your back to lift the weight up.
The kettlebell clean and press is a dynamic and explosive exercise and it should be performed with maximum intensity. However, when you’re first starting out, you should perform this exercise slowly so that you can learn the proper movements and build up your strength and endurance. Once you’re more advanced, you should perform the exercise at maximum speed like an Olympic lifter or powerlifter would. This is what’s known as “periodization”.
The kettlebell suitcase deadlift is a great exercise for building strength in your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Not only that but it also gives you amazing grip strength. You’ll need to hold the kettlebell in the center to make it easier and in the handles to make it harder. The harder you hold it, the more your forearms will have to contract to hold on to the weight.
To perform this movement, you’ll stand with your legs shoulder width apart and hold the weight in either the middle or the handle. Next, bend at your knees and lift the weight with your thighs only. Keep your back straight and only bend at the knees. Don’t lean back or you’ll put your back into the movement.
The weight should stay directly in line with your knees for the entire movement. Once you get the handle of the kettlebell to thigh level you can then bend at your waist and lower the weight to the ground. Be sure to keep your core muscles contracted on the way down to protect your back.
The kettlebell pull through is a great exercise for improving your strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and even balance. You can also do this exercise while holding the weight in different ways to make it harder or easier.
To perform this movement, you’ll hold the kettlebell in one hand and place your opposite foot through the handle. Next, bend over at your waist and grab the weight with your opposite hand so that the weight is behind your back. You can hold the weight in the middle for a harder exercise or closer to the bell for an easier exercise.
Now that you’re ready to perform the movements it’s time to take a look at some common mistakes you should avoid and correct.
Common Kettlebell Exercise Mistakes to Avoid
Thinking you don’t need to warm up before exercising: Like any other form of exercise or weight lifting, your muscles need to be warmed up before going full speed. Otherwise, you’re putting unnecessary stress on your muscles and joints which can lead to injury. When you’re just starting out, it’s also important to get familiar with the movements and how they feel because this will prevent injury as well.
Lifting the kettlebell too high: Lifting the kettlebell too high when you’re performing movements such as the clean, snatch or any other movement for that matter can put unnecessary stress and strain on your joints. Plus, if you’re holding the weight at a high level it can throw off your center of balance making some exercises more difficult to perform.
Not maintaining a solid core: Whether you’re performing a high rep set of swings or ballistic exercises like the snatch, maintaining a solid core is important to prevent injury. This is especially true when your swinging the weight around because your muscles can easily give out if you don’t have a strong core.
Skipping the eccentric portion of the exercise: An eccentric or negative rep is the portion of the movement where you lower or release the weight slowly to the bottom part of the movement. For example, when you clean the weight you rapidly pull it up and then slowly lower or release it as you squat down. The negative portion is just as important as the positive or concentric movement so be sure to spend an equal amount of time on both aspects.
Not using the full range of motion: Whether you’re doing a bicep curl, squat or any other typical exercise, it’s important to use the full range of motion. This will allow you to work the muscle more thoroughly and strengthen it more effectively. Just like skipping the eccentric portion, this can lead to injury and sub-par results.
Not breathing properly: It may seem silly to mention, but many people hold their breath when they’re lifting weights. When you’re lifting a weight, you should exhale when you’re exerting maximum force. Holding your breath means you’re not using the full strength that you could be.
Performing too much high impact exercise: If you don’t typically do a lot of cardio or exercise that involves a lot of jumping around then you may want to limit how much of it you perform. This is especially true if you’re just getting started because your body needs to get used to this kind of activity and too much too soon can lead to injury.
These are just some of the common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when performing kettlebell exercises. Now that you have a better idea about proper form and technique, it’s time to learn some actual exercises that you can add to your routine.
The kettlebell exercises that are listed below are divided into 3 categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The beginner exercises are great for anyone who is just starting out and want to learn the ropes. The Intermediate exercises are best for those who have been using kettlebells for at least 6 months or so and are familiar with the basics. Finally, the Advanced exercises are for those who have been working out regularly with kettlebells for at least a year and are looking for more of a challenge.
With each exercise listed, there are images that depict the proper form and technique. However, it should be noted that everyone has different body types so what might work for one person may not work as well for you. For example, some people can perform the exercise with a long range of motion, but for others that may injure their joints, a short range of motion will work better.
The same concept applies to how heavy of a kettlebell you should use. If you’re a smaller person, using a heavier kettlebell may not be the best option for you.
There are also a lot of factors that go into selecting a kettlebell weight and that includes how much experience you have, what your fitness goals are, your lifting history (or lack thereof) and more. Because of this, there’s no real one size fits all approach to selecting a proper weight.
That’s why it’s always best to start off light and only work your way up when you’re ready. It’s better to be patient now than to rush into things and risk an injury that could set you back considerably.
So if you’re just starting out, be patient and take the time to learn the proper form for each exercise before moving on to something else. With time and patience, you’ll be on your way to a stronger, more fit body!
Kettlebell Exercises For Beginners
The following exercises are for those who are just starting out with kettlebells. These exercises are not only great for beginners, but they can also be used by anyone looking to improve their overall strength.
The kettlebell swing is a classic exercise that works just about every muscle in the body. More than just a “back and bicep” workout, this exercise will help you develop strength throughout your core, particularly your hips and glutes.
There are different ways you can grip the kettlebell when doing the exercise. Depending on your strength level and comfort, you may choose one style over another. The three main grip styles are the “regular” grip, the “wide” grip, and the “over/under” grip.
With the regular grip, hold the kettlebell by putting your palms against the top of the bell. The handles should be diagonal across the bottom of your palm. Your fingers will be wrapped around the sides.
This is the most common grip you’ll see with this exercise. It’s comfortable and allows for a moderate range of motion.
Over/under grip: hold the kettlebell by putting your palms against the top of the bell. The handles should be parallel to the floor. Your little and ring fingers will be wrapped around the front handle while your index and middle fingers are wrapped around the back handle.
This grip is narrower than the regular and wide grips. It may take some time getting used to this grip if you’re not used to it, but it also allows for a deeper range of motion.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ergonomically shaped kettlebell by R Williams – US Patent App. 13/531,482, 2013 – Google Patents
How to Smooth Out the Kettlebell Snatch by M Beecroft, RKC Master, M Bos, A Du Cane, A Gala… – rkcblog.dragondoor.com
The cardiopulmonary demand of kettlebell snatches by M Chan – 2014 – open.library.ubc.ca
Therapeutic Exercise: Strength Training–Kettlebells by C Schnettler, J Porcari, C Foster, M Anders – University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, 2009
Energy cost and relative intensity of the kettlebell workout by D Matlick, B Stacy, RO Council – 2017 – ebscohost.com
Comparative analysis of exercise equipment jerk in weightlifting and weight sport by C Schnettler – 2009 – minds.wisconsin.edu
Basic exercises with kettlebell by VY Djim – … , medical-biological problems of physical training …, 2013 – sportpedagogy.org.ua