Dead Release Snatch—Maximum Short Burst Power

The kettlebell dead snatch is the snatch variation that requires the most power in variations where the grip remains on the weight.

With the dead snatch, you need to control your power output to get the height it travels correctly. In other words, if you pull the dead snatch too high then it will bang on the forearm because it wants to travel higher but is pulled back by the grip on the handle.

The dead release snatch is a variation where one can forget about controlling the output and go for maximum short burst power. Allow me to explain in a different way. The dead snatch:

  1. The weight starts dead on the ground.
  2. The weight is pulled up with controlled effort.
  3. The height at which the pull should deliver the weight is just before the insert.

If the weight goes higher then it will make the exercise uncomfortable and/or cause injury. This means that the power output needs to be controlled and that it can’t be a maximum effort. I should note, it can be maximum effort if the weight selection and repetitions are correct. This will only be one or two reps with just one weight.


The dead release snatch:

  1. The weight starts dead on the ground.
  2. The weight is/can be pulled up with maximum effort.
  3. The height at which the pull should deliver the weight is virtually unlimited.

This variation of the kettlebell snatch allows for maximum power to be generated as there is no need to control how high the kettlebell travels and it’s virtually unlimited.


Catching the weight

Let’s talk about catching the weight on the way down. When releasing the kettlebell it can return back to the ground by letting it drop, one can only do this when working on a soft surface. The second option is to catch the weight with an open palm. The third option is to grab the handle as it returns within reach.

The first option, not having to worry about catching, is the preferred option to focus on just the up phase. The second and third options are also great and add the requirement of pulling the weight up correctly so that it returns in a way that it can be caught. In other words, you don’t want the weight to return with the handle pointing to the other side or down.



This version of the snatch is not for beginners and is definitely a “Don’t try this at home” version but has some great applications for those more advanced. To beginners, this may look like it’s dangerous and not useful, and that’s ok, once you’ve progressed to this level you’ll understand that in fact, it’s controlled, and has its applications.


Learn more about the kettlebell snatch with our online kettlebell course or book.

Learn how to snatch

Leave a Comment

Shopping Basket