How To Get The Kettlebell Snatch Form Right

brandon richey fitness

by: Brandon Richey, B.S.,CSCS

Being a strength coach I believe one of the coolest weapons you could have in your arsenal of lifts for overall physical training is the kettlebell snatch. Man…talk about a dynamic lift that involves serious power, grace, technical control, and can still build the overall endurance and strength of a champion of any kind.

The kettlebell snatch is certainly one of my biggest go tos for overhead lifting…as long as it can be done correctly! Unfortunately many people miss the mark on the “correct” part of executing said lift. Nevertheless, today we’re talking about how to get the kettlbell snatch done the right way!

Progressing From The Ground Up To The Kettlebell Snatch…

The mastery of movement is always the emphasis in the Brandon Richey Fitness (BRF) camp and when it comes to the kettlebell snatch lift this is certainly no different. The beauty of this particular variation of the snatch lift is that it allows us to execute an overhead lift for shoulder stability, hip drive, and total coordination of the body. This lift is certainly made up of a series of technical steps before the final product is so elegantly displayed by the experienced lifter.

The point of today’s blogisode is to help you understand some of those technical steps to a high enough degree that you are able to seamlessly and confidently execute this powerful lift. I already know what you’re thinking…So coach where do we start?

Well for starters the snatch is certainly a lift that requires the sound execution of other more foundational prerequisite kettlebell movements and the double arm kettlebell swing as at that the very foundation of those movements. Here’s a bit of clarification on that very lift right here.


After the standard double arm kettlebell swing the single arm swing must also be executed with seamless ability by the lifter before moving on to the snatch. Essentially you must have a handle on executing a dynamic hinging and extension of the hips and knees while handling the loaded cannonball with a supreme level of confidence and skill. Load up the hips and crush your grip and the result of your single arm swing should look like the following demonstration I’ve included here below.

As you can see here the process is starting to look similar to a kettlebell snatch. The only remaining element is being able to bring that bell overhead like a boss that owns the weight room. The thing to remember is that the process is just that…a process.

As a rule of thumb make sure when you are swinging the bell with a single arm to firmly grip the bell properly. I always stress the importance of this to my students by explaining this process in greater detail. Trust me the details here are important.

For starters, if you are gripping with the right hand slide the grip further over to the left horn of the bell. Likewise if you are gripping with the left hand make sure to slide the hand over to the right horn of the bell.

This allows the bell to more smoothly transition into a point of control for the lifter during the swinging process and with other single arm movements such as the clean and rack and snatch lifts. It basically influences the placement of the sphere of the bell so that it ends up in a more stable and comfortable position for the lifter. I’ll explain further in the video I’ve included here below.

Ok so when are we getting to the kettlebell snatch? Well by now you can see there are obviously a few technical steps that are necessary to address before we get to the kettlebell snatch and once we are able to put all of these together we’re ready to execute the overhead snatch lift.

To combine most of what I’ve broken down for you here the only remaining element is understanding how to clean and rack the bell to the chest (at the low chest position) and to then execute the same movement as the bell is brought overhead (at the high overhead position) in order to complete the snatch lift. For more clarification on this I’ve included the video here below.

Finally, it all comes together! Now you’re ready to ramp up the intensity of your training and to confidently perform this unique lift the way it’s meant to be performed with both power and grace. In the end the kettlebell snatch is about leveraging your physical ability by mastering the movement of your body.

When you’re capable of doing this in the weight room to a higher degree you’re lighting up your competition on the field of play…period. The snatch is a great way to prove to yourself that your body is battle tested.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and feel free to drop a comment down below. Be a boss and train smart!

For more updates and information like this check out Brandon’s site at

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