Over 100 Kettlebell Snatch Variations

One hundred snatch variations! Really? Yes, it’s possible. I haven’t calculated exactly how many variations are possible, but I’m going to give you the information and formula to work it out yourself. If I told you that the formula is {style * side * drop * punch through * lockout direction * stance * range * movement * receiving * direction} = total number of variations, you might not believe me, nor would you believe it’s over 1,152 variations.


  1. Kettlebell training
  2. Hardstyle
  3. Sport



  1. Unilateral
  2. Bilateral
  3. Alternating



  1. Full
  2. Half


Punch through

  1. Cork screw
  2. Door knock


Lockout direction

  1. Neutral
  2. Forward



  1. Neutral
  2. Staggered



  1. Dead
  2. Hang



  1. Pull
  2. Swing



  1. Reverse lunge
  2. Split lunge
  3. Squat
  4. Neutral



  1. Frontal
  2. Lateral
  3. Diagonal


Ok, if you told me that some would be a bit far fetched to base a variation on, I would agree, but even so, surely we can agree that you can make at least 100 variations, not? I might not have even covered all variations yet, maybe there are more different stances, I guess you could also look at kneeling etc.

Let me provide more info on the break-down of the snatch, side is about the number of kettlebells you use, one is unilateral, two is bilateral or alternating (even though two kettlebells might still be considered unilateral, anyways), the drop is either half which is into racking position or full into a swing or hang, then you can also change the angle you lean back at, if at all, your stance can be neutral, staggered or even in a kneeling lunge, the range is either dead or hang, swinging is also hanging, the movement can be a pull or swing, dead or hang is pulling and anything else is swinging, the direction can be lateral, frontal or diagonal.


Kettlebell Snatch and CrossFit

When it comes to CrossFit and Kettlebells, the kettlebell dead snatch version comes the closest to what is used in CrossFit with the barbell. If you take the kettlebell dead snatch and add squat receiving to it, you almost have the same movement as the barbell power snatch.


People need to start playing around more with variations, without being scared of others, because backlash is exactly what you can expect when you start doing unconventional things, until they become the norm! You’ll get people saying “that’s not a snatch!”, but little do they know that the definition of Snatch is a continuous explosive movement from dead or hang position to overhead, whether you’re snatching a barbell, dumbbell, sandbag or garbage bag! Whether you’re coming into a split, reverse or forward lunge to receive it, as long as you lock out and come upright, you’re pretty much good. But when I say play, you should try to stay safe and adhere to technique, especially if you’re putting it out there for other people to see.

Receiving variations are also used when fatigue sets in, for example in competition when the shoulders start to fatigue, you then want to start coming under the weight, which is what a squat does for you.


Swing variations

Just a few little bits about swing variations to elaborate on what’s covered in the video.

The timing of the hip hinge on the down phase defines how much core work is involved, some variations you almost immediately push the hips back, in others you wait longer before hip hinging and let the bell come almost through the legs before hip hinging.

In the sport swing it’s not common to hip hinge, it’s more of a quarter squat which is performed, this is to reduce core fatigue, there is more work done by stronger muscle groups like the quads in the GS swing, where as with hardstyle or kettlebell training it’s more common to rely on the glutes.

Watch the video below of most if not all variations described above, just register for free with Cavemantraining and sign in to view the videos below, the first is all variations with voice-over, the second is most variations in slow-motion or frame by frame.

I have a lot of information about the kettlebell snatch, I’m going to write a book about it, looking to co-operate with someone who is competent in this area, but is also open to different things, i.e. not a black and white type of person. Contact me.

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