The Kettlebell Snatch
What comes to mind when you hear the word “snatch?” If you say you think of a rough, fast move that takes away something from where it originally was, then you’ve got a good grasp of the typical definition held by many people.
Kettlebell fitness enthusiasts however, would most likely think of something else when they hear the phrase “Kettlebell snatch” and that is: totally powerful, full-body exercise.
You can get rid of approximately 300 calories during a 20-minute snatching session; maybe more depending on your body type. That is equivalent to the calories you expend running for 20-25 minutes at a speed of 6 minutes per mile.
What Happens During a Kettlebell Snatch?
Falling in love then getting engaged is nothing new. In fact, it’s considered as the normal turn of events. But it’s the reverse with doing a Kettlebell snatch because what happens is that, first, you engage yourself in the activity, and then, you fall in love with doing the snatches.
This will happen when you realize all the benefits that you get from such an engagement, you’ll want to do it over and over again.
A Kettlebell snatch features some advanced movements…
When you assume the partial squat position, and you swing the Kettlebell in-between your open legs, you are using your:
- Biceps – the front muscles of your upper arms
- Erector spinae – the lower back muscles
- Gastrocnemius and soleus – the back of your lower legs
- Abdominals – the stomach or core
- Gluteus maximus – the butt
- Hamstrings – the muscles in the back of the thighs
- Quadriceps – the muscles in the front of the thighs
- Latissimus dorsi – the large, triangular muscle in the middle of your back
- Rhomboids – the muscles between your shoulder blades
When you stand up, bringing the Kettlebell with you, you are primarily using your hips.
Your hamstrings, back muscles, and shoulders are still involved, of course, but it is your thrusting hips that provide the power or momentum when you raise the Kettlebell.
If you don’t thrust your hips forward, you risk losing balance and falling down because of the weight of the Kettlebell that’s being raised in an arc by your arm.
Secondary to your hip movements is the support of your gluteus maximus. Your butt muscles tighten up when you thrust your hips, and that’s why when you do a Kettlebell snatch, you end up looking sexy from the shoulders and all the way down.
Demonstration of the Kettlebell Snatch:
Safety Tips When Doing Kettlebell Snatches
If you’re not careful, it’s not that hard to get injured while doing a snatch. To help to avoid injuries, always observe these fundamental tips:
- Make sure your hands are dry, not sweaty, because a good, firm grip is essential to do proper Kettlebell snatch.
- Make sure that the size or weight of the Kettlebell you are using is appropriate to your fitness level and gender (see “The Kettlebell Saga: From Farmers to Fitness Nuts” for details).
- Do not hurry in jerking the Kettlebell from the ground, especially if you are new to exercising with Kettlebells. Follow the “easy does it” rule. You can increase the speed of your movements after you get used to handling the weight and movement you are doing.
- Maintain the straightness of your wrists during the “catch” part of the snatch, and make sure that your arm is extended.
A Kettlebell snatch makes use of both speed and full body coordination. You can be tempted into going faster and faster, but, again, do your best to do the snatch with moderation until you master it. Your body will thank you for it.
Remember that you can always get the full set of Kettlebell Workout Videos, the ones that go along with the information we’re sharing with you here, when you subscribe to the My Fitness Nut Newsletter at MyFitnessNut.com. In the next article, “Keep Your Muscles Toned with the Kettlebell Clean” (also included in the videos) will give you the next step in developing your own personal Kettlebell workout routine.