While the kettlebell swing is the center of the kettlebell universe the kettlebell snatch is it’s king. Much like it’s Olympic cousin, the barbell snatch, the kettlebell snatch requires coordination, timing, and power. Unlike the barbell snatch, the kettlebell snatch can be performed for many reps with minimal risk to injury. This means more workload that translates to faster results. And, who doesn’t want a better-looking body in a shorter amount of time? Just take a look at all the things a kettlebell snatch can do:

  • Full body exercise (abs, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders, biceps, forearms)
  • Develops strength & power (very few exercises can do both)
  • Greatly increases your VO2 Max (great for endurance athletes)
  • Intense fat burner (up to 20 cal per minute)
  • Builds mental toughness

Before you begin kettlebell snatching you’ll need to master the 1-arm kettlebell swing. It’s extremely difficult to master the snatch without the swing. Own the 1-arm swing and the snatch will be much easier to learn.

Key points when kettlebell snatching:

  • It’s a hip hinge, not a squat
  • Use momentum in your favor (hence mastering the 1-arm swing)
  • Breathe out sharply at the top of the snatch
  • Stand tall and squeeze your glutes at the top of the snatch
  • Roll the kettlebell handle in your palm as you lock out (think door on a hinge), do not manually turn the kettlebell (like a wrench)
  • If the kettlebell hits the back of your forearm and it hurts, you did it wrong


You may add kettlebell snatches to your routine 1-3x week. Personally, I like to add them to the end of my workouts as a cardio finisher for 5 min. You can test your kettlebell snatching performance by executing the RKC or SFG snatch test (100 snatches in 5 min.). I’ve done this test several times and the closest comparison I have is what it must be like to sprint a mile in under 5 min. You fight through it but once you’re done you need to take a nap. Because of all these benefits, and more, many MMA fighters, Spec Ops, and Secret Service has added the snatch test to their training (Secret Service have to perform 200 snatches in 10 min….attempt at your own risk haha). Last time I checked those guys were in incredible shape.


Stay fit my friends!

About Josh Jarmin

Originally from Washington, D.C. (NOVA) Josh moved to Atlanta to be a Middle School history teacher after graduating from James Madison University. He joined the Marine Corps infantry as a reservist and served in Iraq honorably. Josh then turned his attention to personal training after his tour in order to help others reach their health/fitness goals. At one point he was 275lbs and 28% body fat. Now he's 195lbs and 13.5% body fat. Josh worked for several fitness facilities in Atlanta and developed a loyal following of trainees. He's created a training program of his own personal design and has established himself as one of the top kettlebell and body movement experts in the Atlanta area. Josh is currently the Co-Owner and Director of Fitness at Blueprint Fitness.

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