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Kettlebell Snatch Tutorial part III – The Drop

Welcome to part 3 of the Snatch Tutorial series. In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2

Anton Anasenko, possibly the best pound for pound lifter in history begins the drop

Anton Anasenko, possibly the best pound for pound lifter in history begins the drop, he recently put up 207 reps in 10 minutes with 32kgs at a bodyweight of 85kg, and that’s with only 1 hand change

So we’ve covered the basic technique and gone into detail on the hand insertion. The next big stumbling block for most people is the drop. This segment is often overlooked, it’s the non glamorous side of the lift. Everyone gasps in awe as you effortless throw that weight overhead, but few care about how you put it down again. If you’re an Olympic Weightlifter, that’s fine as the weight is simply dropped to the floor after setting their one rep max. Kettles are different though, it’s not about lifting it once and going for a little sit down, no it’s about lifting it over and over. It’s about power endurance, work capacity and being able to demonstrate strength, stamina and staying power.

And for this to happen, efficiency is key.

Once we’ve snatched and locked out our kettle, we are now thinking about our next rep. To get this rep efficiently we have to control the descent of the bell so as to conserve energy and get the bell into the optimal position to relaunch it.

It’s where a huge amount of lifters fail.

To get the most out of the snatch as both a training drill and a competition lift, we must understand one key idea:

We must counterbalance the weight of the bell with something and that something is our head.

This is some thing I’ll go into more detail on in next weeks instalment, but for now I just need you keep in mind the importance of moving the head to counter the bell and keel the body balanced.

The very first thing a lifter will do in order to initiate the drop will be lean the head and torso back while they bring their elbow in towards their midline. Check out the image of Anton Anasenko above to see this in action, and I don’t care what school of lifting you come from, but anyone who can put up 207 reps with a 32kg in 10 minutes, while only changing hands once, has to be someone you can learn from.

So if your aim to get as many reps as possible, as quickly as possible, then you must not ignore this step.

By leaning the head and torso back you will be able to:

1 – reduce the height the bell must fall 2 – bring the bell into a position where it has the most efficient line to swing through the legs 3 – bring the upper arm closer to the torso so that the body can start decelerating the bell as early as possible.

All in all, we get a more efficient drop that is smoother and less taxing on grip, back and shoulder and therefore allows us to work faster for longer, or with more weight.

The video presentation here shows all that as well as some of the correctional drills we use to tidy up the drop.

Have a watch:

If you’re enjoying this series, don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of the Level 3 manual covering the Jerk & Snatch lifts in high detail:

Click Image for more info

Click Image for more info


Dave Hedges

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