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Avoiding Hand Fatigue During Kettlebell Snatches

kettlebell snatchThe Kettlebell snatch is a very fun exercise, and I don’t say that just because it’s the first exercise I ever did with a kb. Assuming you can do them safely and without pain, kettlebell snatches can help you work on many different goals at once. High-speed snatches for high volume work wonders for fat loss, while low volume with heavy bells like The Beast can help you develop brute strength. And of course, if you want to gain muscle, just add a girya to the hand that’s not doing anything. Double snatches (a la Return of The Kettlebell) will bulk you up in a hurry if you do a lot of them.

And that’s why I wrote this article today: high volume is only possible if your hands are up to the workload of serious snatching. I mean this both from a hand-care perspective–ripped calluses will derail your goals quickly–and from an endurance perspective. If your hands wear out before you can do ten snatches, you’re not going to get too far.

I’d like to introduce you to a method called the Drop and Catch. I first heard of this from my friend Jordan Vezina, who runs the Average To Elite kettlebell studio in Palo Alto. The drop and catch, when done properly, will help you do more snatching while having less contact with the bell and your hand, thus reducing the fatigue. The eccentric, or drop portion of the movement is where most people seem to fade away with hand strength. This is how you can get around it.

Here is a video of Jordan teaching the drop:

As you can see, or not see maybe, the bump off the palm is almost imperceptible, but once you’re nailing it, you will know it. Your hands will stay healthier and you’ll be able to handle more volume. The more you can dial in your technique, the more you’ll be able to practice, and the cycle goes around and around.

I began experimenting with the method while prepping for the Secret Service Snatch Test. Suddenly I could snatch all day and my hands were no longer my limiting factor. so thanks to Jordan for that. Efficiency in strength training is always the way to more reps and greater training longevity.

The numbers don’t lie. If the numbers are going up, you’re doing something right. My numbers in the kb snatch started going way up once I was nailing this simple tactic.

Give it a try, I think you’ll be pleased with the results. Your kettlebell results are going to be a lot better with better (better suited to you, I mean) technique.


Strength Training For Body and Mind

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Petter November 9, 2011, 7:16 am

    The video is set to private, so it’s not possible to see it, not for me at least.