Teaching the kettlebell snatch to a complete beginner

In this video, I teach a complete beginner the kettlebell snatch. It’s absolutely not recommended for anyone to start snatching before they have mastered the swing, clean, and racking. In this case, I was in a situation where a complete beginner was going to join in on our workout and I had a total of 20 minutes to run him through some things and assess him. He was a quick learner, so, assessing him and teaching some things about the snatch did no harm, I did end up suggesting the clean and press as an alternative for him in the actual workout.

Prior to this, I covered the clean with him so that he was familiar with the grip transition that happens in the snatch.

A quick summary of what I cover with the subject in the video:

  • Single-arm swing
  • The path of travel
  • Don’t power the swing with the shoulders
  • How to spot a shoulder powered swing
  • The difference between a hip hinge and squat
  • A squat for the swing is not bad if one knows the hip hinge
  • Hand insertion
  • Posture
  • Initial set-up
  • An alternative/progression for the half snatch
  • What to do with the non-working arm
  • Break it down and reset on each rep
  • Don’t finish the movement if there is no power behind it


When there is a limited amount of time to teach, one can’t keep hammering on a point, so, some of the points that were repeated but not executed:

  • Squatting instead of hip hinging
  • Coming too low with the kettlebell
  • Not enough power
  • Posture
  • Finishing the movement without power behind it

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