By Brandon Richey
If you aren’t serious about including kettlebell training in your workouts on a regular basis, I will say that you’re downright cheating yourself out of the most optimal fitness gains known to man.
There are several reasons why kettlebell snatches will supercharge your functional fitness and today I’ve compiled a list of 20 reasons as to why you need to load these into the chamber for when you fire off your next training session!
But first, here’s a video showing the correct way to do the snatch.
Now to the benefits.
1) Iron Shoulders
As mentioned in the beginning when performed with a high level of proficiency the kettlebell snatch will help you to build an iron shoulder girdle. The scapula is a stability joint and the surrounding lats will influence the overhead movement of the kettlebell snatch.
The firing and strength of these muscles is greatly enhanced with the kettlebell snatch as it will improve both mobility and stabilizing factors concerning your shoulders.
2) Bone-Crushing Grip
Any guy or girl that can perform kettlebell snatches for several repetitions with a moderately heavy to heavy. kettlebell is going to have a hell of a grip. If you don’t believe me just shake the hand of a kettlebell lifter.
3) Enhanced Abdominal Bracing
Abdominal bracing strengthens your lower back and core muscles.
If you take a moment to stand up from reading this article to ball up your fist and punch yourself in the stomach, my guess is that you’ll make sure your midsection is stiffened to receive the impact.
You’re not just simply going to stand there relaxed to take that kind of impact only to double over in pain trying to catch your breath.
Kettlebell snatches will reinforce your ability to brace your core midsection to stabilize yourself for executing the lift.
4) Strengthen Your Kinetic Chain
The kinetic chain (sometimes called the kinematic chain) is a physiological engineering concept for human movement.
Your body’s muscles are all connected just like links in a chain, which means in order to move one muscle, others are also involved.
If there is any slack in the chain, you’re going to bleed power during certain movements. Well-executed kettlebell snatches train your body to eliminate the slack in the chain.
5) Improved Core Stability
This is directly linked to the abdominal bracing and kinetic chain I mention above.
The kettlebell snatch is a dynamic lift involving you driving the movement through your hips and legs. This creates the momentum to ascend the bell from your groin up to the overhead position you must display core stability.
When you engage in performing a series of snatches, you’re constantly having to engage your core center by creating pressure throughout your trunk to stabilize your spine under exertion.
6) Improved Anaerobic Work Capacity
You can center a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout around kettlebell snatches.
If you perform a set of 5 to 10 reps with each arm with a moderately heavy to heavy kettlebell you’re going to feel every bit of your cardiovascular system.
Once you place the bell on the ground after the working set you’ll spend the next two minutes learning about oxygen debt as your heart and lungs will be catching up to pay that debt back to your body in full for your recovery.
7) Improved Aerobic Capacity
Additionally, you can also build up a significant aerobic work capacity from kettlebell snatches.
Like the example in the anaerobic scenario you can perform snatches, but here you’ll want to use a much lighter kettlebell so that you can get your rep count much higher in order to get your cardiovascular system into an aerobic state. The key to doing this is making sure you maintain a steady consistent pace with the kettlebell as you perform these snatches.
Once you’re proficient you should be able to sustain a pace for these snatches for about 50 reps or more.
8) Great for Combat, Fight, and Athletic Performance
If you currently have a goal to enhance your athleticism, the kettlebell snatch is a must have lift for your to include into your training.
ability to seamlessly and continuously move the kettlebell from a hip hinge position to elevate it to overhead in continuous fashion creates strength, coordination, control, and reaction time.
All of these traits are necessary for athletic and combat scenarios.
9) Increased Power
The kettlebell snatch is a demanding lift on your entire system.
Because you’re hinging the hips during the loading process of the snatch, then driving through your legs you’re having to call on the development of your posterior chain muscles including your hips, glutes, and hamstrings, all of which make up your power center.
10) Improved Resiliency
Kettlebell snatches introduce a lot of stress onto your body.
The first time I started implementing these I experienced a whole new type of soreness. It was as if my entire body was covered in a soreness that was equally spread to every muscle.
What I realized was that my body was undergoing a hardening process and that this would eventually allow me to bounce back much faster from other physical tasks once adaptation set in.
I get it…sometimes your life schedule can be hectic and you need to figure out a way to get in a sound training session that’s going to keep your body sharp and functional. Utilizing the kettlebell for some snatches is a quick and convenient way to do just that.
The benefit of the snatch creates simplicity allowing you to train hundreds of muscles with a single movement.
This makes program planning easy and fast only having to program one exercise for a day’s training while eliminating the need for more equipment and time.
12) A Stronger Posterior Chain
In strength and conditioning we say that the anterior muscles (chest, abs, biceps) are “show” muscles, but when it comes to your performance you need to have those “go” muscles dialed in (back, glutes, hips, and hamstrings). A stronger posterior chain improves your ability to sprint, jump, and kick.
13) Stronger Lats
You probably wouldn’t think about how kettlebell snatches would improve lat strength, but in fact kettlebell snatches are great for doing exactly that.
The real trick to recognizing this is when you bring your lifting arm overhead during the snatch to keep your shoulder girdle depressed as you execute the movement. Once you do this you’ll feel your lats fire like crazy.
14) Simple Training Solution
This is connected to #11 above.
The two ideal boxes to check off the list when it comes to getting in a quality workout these days creating a training routine that is simple and effective.
The kettlebell snatch offers both once you become proficient with the lifting technique.
15) Joint integrity
Kettlebell snatches are obviously a form of lifting, but this moment allows you to perform without the worry of wear and tear on your joints…assuming you’re technically proficient.
This is the case because kettlebells allow for more seamless movement and there is less potential for heavier static loading as you would experience with a barbell.
16) Lean muscle development
If you’re looking for a way to shred some body fat and lean out for the summer, kettlebell swatches are going to a great option This movement will help you build lean muscle in a hurry.
17) Increased Speed
This is connected to the aerobic benefits the kettlebell snatch provides. Kettlebell snatches can definitely contribute to your leg and hand speed. Kettlebell snatches enhance your rate of force production especially if you’re performing the movement with a heavier kettlebell.
If you want to contribute to your speed development do some heavy snatches.
18) Improved Coordination
Being able to handle the kettlebell snatch efficiently demands you being able to coordinate a lot of moving parts with your body. Once your technique is dialed in you’ll improve your coordination.
19) Accelerated Metabolism
After an intense workout your body continues burning calories at a high rate. This process continues even when you’re at rest which is known as your basal metabolic rate.
If you want to burn more calories while you’re at rest, kettlebell snatches will increase your basal metabolic rate.
20) Improved Grit and Mental Toughness
Last but not least, kettlebell snatches can definitely contribute to helping your grit and intestinal fortitude. If you want to test this theory, commit to grinding out a hundred snatches with a moderately heavy kettlebell and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
That little voice inside of you trying to tell you to quit will try to make some noise inside your head when you put this to the test.
If you’re not including kettlebell snatches into your regular strength and conditioning program, your training is incomplete.
It takes some commitment and focus to become technically proficient with this movement, but so does everything else. Take the time to learn.
Are you currently including kettlebell snatches in your workouts?
How often do you do kettlebell snatches?
Post up and share in the comments here below.
If you want more information about kettlebell snatches or other workouts involving kettlebells, stop by my website at Brandon Richey Fitness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEALgrinderPT coach Brandon Richey is a certified strength and conditioning coach, author, and founder of Brandon Richey Fitness.
He has worked with thousands of athletes over his 17 years of experience, developing fitness training programs for beginners to professional and D-1 level collegiate athletes at the University of Georgia.
He also trains MMA and Muay Thai athletes, both professional and amateur.
QUESTION: I want to start adding kettlebells to my workout routines, but they’re kind of expensive. I’m a DIY kind of person. Do you know how I could make one?
ANSWER: Yes—check out this article: How to Make a Kettlebell.
QUESTION: I’m really new to using kettlebells but I like them. Do you have any workouts I can do at home with them and maybe some info on how to use them the right way?
ANSWER: This article has great info: CrossFit Kettlebell Workouts and Tips.