I heard this one the other day and I just couldn’t believe
I was stunned and my mouth just hung open for a second.
Apparently, a kettlebell expert stood up in front of a crowd
and said heavy snatches were “dangerous” because
they were really nothing more than “grinds” and were
bad for your hips.
Seriously – WTH???
First, let’s get something straight:
The Snatch is impossible to “grind.”
A grind is a slow lift and “grinding” a lift is taking a slow lift
and making it slower.
The Snatch is a ballistic. It’s explosive and the force you
generate with your hips drives the bell overhead at the
direction of the arm.
Second: Heavy Snatches either go up or they don’t.
They don’t “grind.”
And if they did, the only thing you would hurt would be
your shoulder, since it’s a much more delicate joint than
the hip, let alone both of your hips.
If anything, the only type of Snatch you could possibly
grind, would me a medium one, because you could use
your arm and muscle the bell up into place.
And for those of you familiar with Snatch mechanics, we
call that a “press out.” Cause that’s what happens, you
end up pressing out the weight with your arm.
Third: I have NEVER in 10 years of teaching people how
to use KBs on a daily basis, had anyone ever hurt their
hips, let alone shoulders with a Snatch.
And yes, some of my clients snatch heavy.
(I have a female client who snatches the 24kg.)
Fourth: I have pre-existing hip injuries and heavy
snatches are just fine on them. Sure, could be the nature
of my injuries, but still… come on…
Fifth: Assuming you know what the heck you’re doing
heavy Snatches are a great way to boost your numbers
in a timed test.
I know cause I’ve done it and have used this method with
I just can’t believe someone of “expert” status would say
something as foolish as this.
Why would this person say something just so dumb?
I don’t know.
Maybe this person has never done heavy Snatches before
or they (yes, I know, wrong pronoun – doing it on purpose)
just needed attention.
Again, I don’t know (You can’t see this, but I’m shaking my
head right now…)
But here’s the bottom line:
Heavy Snatches are a great way to increase your:
1. Strength in the Snatch
2. Total reps in a timed test like the 5 minute RKC test
3. Power production
4. Ability to burn fat (This is a whole ‘nother post, so I can’t
go into here…)
Are they for beginners?
No way Jose.
Do your Swings, Get Ups, and Presses and some light
Snatches for practice. Because without the proper hip
drive and shoulder mobility, they can be dangerous to
your shoulders and lower back.
But, if you’re an intermediate or advanced kettlebell-er,
then heavy snatch away!
I wouldn’t however try to design a heavy Snatch program
on your own. They can be kind of tricky.
Fortunately I’ve got a specialty heavy Snatch program called
“The King Sized Killer” that will make your heavy bells feel
light in only 9 weeks or less.
You’ll find it inside “Kettlebell Express!” along with 49 other
expertly designed KB programs.
Do me a favor and send me your results – I expect you to be
up a bell size – maybe two – by the time you’re done.