The CrossFit Kettlebell Snatch by James Hobart

They say …

“if you point out it’s wrong, then explain what’s wrong with it”

how right they are, it just takes so much time to do, especially when they (CrossFit) should get it right the first time.

I too make mistakes, I’m far from perfect, but I’m also not CrossFit with millions of dollars to spend and access to knowledgable people, I don’t have hundreds of thousands of people looking up to me, so no matter if this is only 80% wrong, or whether it’s ‘not so wrong’, this is CrossFit, they can get it right with the right systems in place, i.e. a quality checking team in between the marketing team and social media! FFS it ain’t that freaking difficult.

They’ll be someone who’ll say “lighten up buddy”, no, you’re showing hundreds of thousands of people how NOT to do it, it should not be taken that lightly.

So with that in mind, I’m going to say THIS DEMO VIDEO of the kettlebell snatch is total and utter crap! Here’s only a few reasons:

  • he’s obviously not been snatching kettlebells for very long as he’s bringing across the technique from the barbell snatch (pulling) to the kettlebell, which is not that bad if you have a good reason to do so—I know that the foundation of the conventional kettlebell swing is not common in CrossFit, hence this is the reason for all the pulling, so that’s a deeply rooted issue right there—just don’t call it “The Kettlebell Snatch” call it the CrossFit Snatch or Pull Snatch, whatever you do, name it something else if you want to change the technique of a commonly known kettlebell exercise.
  • so we’ll assume that they are trying to demonstrate the kettlebell snatch as it is to be performed, in that case, this video is extremely bad as he’s using a Barbell snatch technique with a lot of pulling.
  • pulling in snatching as the main method to drive the bell overhead is only in the dead or hang snatch, the conventional kettlebell snatch, the one that people refer to when they leave out “Swing” from the exercise name is a Swing Snatch, this demo is a hybrid between hang and swing.
  • the thumbnail of the video shows him with hand on his leg, you just don’t do that! It takes away power generation. He’s doing the hand on the leg during the demo as well.
  • there is the DEAD Snatch, HANG Snatch and SWING Snatch, all CrossFitters are now confused and thinking that the technique for THE KETTLEBELL SNATCH has changed. Why? Because of proper naming, I know people call me anal for suggesting to always use proper full naming in public, but here’s your result, a whole CrossFit community confused! Had you named the exercise properly, i.e. DEAD Snatch, and this demo as SWING Snatch (not that it is, more on that later), then you would not have confused thousands of people.
  • if you want to take this further and go into efficiency, which is what CrossFit is all about, then there should be a difference between technique for what you’re doing, if you’re snatching low reps you want to pump them out quickly and you want to do the hang snatch, if you need to do high reps you want to pace yourself and do the swing snatch.
  • the start of the snatch “Deadlift to the hip” first of all there is no deadlift to the hip in this video, secondly, this is not really a good efficient way to start a snatch, dead swing snatch is the best way if you start from the ground, or in rack and into swing snatch if you’ve already cleaned the bell.
  • you could start looking at the drop, grip and plenty more issues if you wanted to get picky, but since this is probably a waste of time anyway, because how many times has CrossFit put out a demo that is bad technique???


  • teach the conventional one arm kb swing first
  • acknowledge, teach and use proper naming:
    • dead snatch
    • dead swing snatch
    • hang snatch
    • swing snatch
  • acknowledge variations:
    • squat
    • half snatch
    • full snatch
    • etc
  • hire a team of quality checking experts, putting out a demo for an olympic lift, get it checked by your team of olympic lifting experts, putting out a kettlebell demo, get it checked by your team of kettlebell experts, putting out a demo for a bodyweight exercise ….

And some of these solutions apply to every demo video you put out, there are no half arsed videos you can put out, you’re CrossFit, take responsibility, GET IT RIGHT.

PS. when thousands of comments on a video are negative, you probably should pull that video down, not everyone is ‘just jealous’.

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