Kettlebell Snatch Slo Mo Video Comparison

Kaleb and Kristen have both been training to snatch the purple people eater (20kg). Both lifters have a level of technique appropriate to snatching a heavy kettlebell, but as always, slo mo video proves to be an outstanding tool for breaking down and refining each phase of the lift. In this side by side slo mo video, Kaleb is snatching 20kg (left) and Kristen is snatching 22kg (right).

Technique analysis for Kaleb:

  • He pulls his elbow in too close too early, which leads to the bell "snapping" his arm forward as it falls and tugging on his grip.
  • His hips go back early, losing connection with the arm.
  • His kettlebell flips up in the backswing, meaning he is pulling the bell up early without allowing the pendulum to finish. His torso stays mostly in the sagittal plane in the backswing from years of "hardstyle" lifting, whereas he could get deeper with a slight torso rotation (like Kristen does).
  • He does a great job inserting into the overhead position, pulling his shoulder down and back in the initial phase of the drop, and using the legs to decelerate and scoop the kettlebell.

Technique analysis for Kristen: 

  • She opens her hand a bit late on the upswing, meaning she is gripping the bell longer than she needs to.
  • She turns her shoulder too much on the initial phase of the drop, instead of pulling it back immediately (like Kaleb does).
  • She doesn't straighten her legs all the way in the backswing, and therefore doesn't get as much stretch-reflex from her hamstrings to power the kettlebell back up (thanks Melissa Erliech for pointing this one out!).
  • Her heel stays up too long on the drop, meaning she doesn't use her legs enough to decelerate the kettlebell.
  • She does a great job letting the kettlebell complete its pendulum with a deep backswing, eliminating the space between her arm and body before pushing hips back, and scooping with her legs to bring the bell up.

What similarities and/or differences do you notice in their technique?

For more tips on the kettlebell snatch, check out this video.