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5 Tips for Hardstyle Kettlebell Snatching

Published on 15th Dec 2018 at 14:18 by Shane Nicoletti

During this mornings Kettlebellsireland style snatching session, I had plenty of time to think about each of my 300 reps. The session was based on the VO2 kettlebell snatch workout that I first learned from Kenneth (Dane of Pain) Jay at the RKC Denmark in 2008.

The details; I used a 20kg kettlebell, I worked 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off, hitting 5 comfortable reps for each 15 seconds work. Over each session I have gradually increase my volume, eventually finishing with 80 sets before the end of the year.

For these power endurance sessions a few things can happen to me. Firstly my mind can tend to wander, where I start to think of other stuff, not related to my Kettlebellsireland style snatch. 

Negativity tries to take over, as an example, I might pick up the kettlebell and start to think it feels heavy, before I've even begun. Or during the session I might look at the clock / timer and think, I'll never make it to the end of the session. 

So I have to blank that out and stay mentally strong. So here's what I do;

  1. I think about my feet during the hardstyle snatch. When the kettlebell is in the down position, (on the floor at the start of the set, or under my groin during the reps 2-5) the weight of my body is back at my heels, where I can curl my toes to the ceiling. When the kettlebell is in the up position ( as it passes my torso to lockout) my body weight is towards my toes to the point where I come up on toes slightly. I call this a more athletic style technique as opposed to staying rooted (flat footed). So I am using a little more triple extension on my power phase. This is a Kettlebellsireland style of snatching, something new to all of our students. Our course will always change and evolve.
  2. I focus on the flight path of the kettlebell. The kettlebell is near to my face on both phases of the snatch. On the up phase I pull the kettlebell close to my body. From lockout I am nearly dropping it vertically to the down position, so the slightest arc happens.
  3. As it is a Kettlebellsireland hardstyle technique, we promote maximal power production throughout every rep. So along with my feet position and the path of the kettlebell, I need to ensure that I am using my glutes explosively throughout every rep.
  4. Sometimes as I get tired my eyes can tend to drop low, followed by my head position. So when I am in the down position I keep my eyes focused high on an object. As I stand up I focus on lifting my head up first to stand tall quickly. The kettlebell follows and is guided to lockout.
  5. Along with the above sometimes I use a double breath technique, that is exhale on the way up, quick breath in as exhale on the down phase too. I might exhale through mouth on the up phase and exhale through the nose on the down phase. Others time I may just use one breath where I exhale during the down phase to part of the up phase. I like to experiment with the breathing.

Doing this during a 30 minute + snatching session keep my focus off negativity, I don't tend to watch the time or sets done, the session flys in. I hope this helps you in your Kettlebells training, stay strong 💪☘

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