Single-Arm Kettlebell Snatch

December 13, 2016 8:24 pm Written by

“Let’s Get Serious!” Exercise 1: Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch

(I’ll be posting one exercise per week for four weeks, culminating in the entire workout together)

The single-arm kettlebell snatch is a total-body exercise that can help promote strength, power and conditioning. There are not many muscles that go unused during the kettlebell snatch – the quads, hips, glutes, core and hamstrings are all utilized, just like with the Kettlebell Swing. But, unlike the swing, you get a little more muscle activation at the top of the body due to the fact that the kettlebell goes overhead. The shoulders, arms, mid-back and upper back get worked well during the movement.

Do this a few times and I promise your muscles will be burning – which is the sign of a great exercise!


  1. Start with the kettlebell slightly in front of you to help initiate the first swing.
  2. From this position, grab the kettlebell with one hand and hike it rearwards. Then, immediately come to full extension as per the swing. However, unlike the swing, this time as the kettlebell starts to come up, you bring your elbow back as if to elbow someone behind you in the face (this can also be great for getting out some aggression, ladies!)
  3. As the kettlebell passes your face, your arm is bent. The kettlebell, however, is still travelling in an upward path. As it reaches just above head height, you will need to aggressively “punch” the arm straight, so the kettlebell lands gently on your wrist. Get it right and it will land with a “kiss” as opposed to a “bang!” It’s important to keep the kettlebell arc close to your body and not to allow it to get too far out in front of you. You can do this by keeping your shoulder pulled back into its socket.
  4. Once locked out in the top position, make sure that your shoulder is pulled down into your socket.
  5. On the descent, flick the bell around as you start the downward path. Be sure to maintain only a slight arc on the return. In other words, don’t let the bell run too wide. This is all about economy of movement and safety.
  6. Pick up the slack of the kettlebell as it starts to move under you and drive it back before explosively starting the movement again.

The photo above really helps illustrate this move.

  • Spine neutral
  • Thumb to bum
  • Eyes on the horizon
  • Guide the kettlebell up
  • Arm locked out
  • Bicep close to ear

And there you go! If you have any questions, comment here or hit us up on Facebook!

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