What Are the Benefits of Kettlebell Snatches?

by Kaitlin Condon, Demand Media
    Kettlebells provide a total-body workout with cardiovascular benefits.

    Kettlebells provide a total-body workout with cardiovascular benefits.

    If you are looking for a total-body workout, look no farther than the kettlebell snatch. The kettlebell snatch is more than a strength-training move. This exercise not only engages almost every muscle group in your body, but it also shoots up your heart rate, making it a cardiovascular exercise as well.

    Total-Body Strength Training

    Performing the kettlebell snatch requires leg power and arm strength. Moving from a squat into a shoulder press in one swift movement, this exercise works almost every major muscle in the body. The squat and pulling the bell off the floor involve the entire lower body, from the calves to the glutes, hamstrings and quads. In order to swing and lift the bell overhead you are utilizing your shoulder and arm muscles. Your core muscles are also engaged throughout the movement to keep your body stabilized.

    Cardiovascular

    One sneaky benefit to the snatch is its cardiovascular benefits. Activating so many muscle groups causes your heart rate to skyrocket. When you add in the repeated repetitions, it isn't long before you are breathing heavy during snatches. The speed at which snatches are performed greatly help to improve cardiovascular endurance.

    Burns More In Less

    Due to the fact that snatches are a combination of strength training and cardio work, the calorie burn from them is significant. 20 minutes of snatches have been proven to burn the same number of calories as running a six-minute mile, which is roughly 272 calories.

    Precautions

    The kettlebell snatch is an advanced exercised, and beginners should be monitored until they can preform the movement with proper form. When learning the snatch, you should first perfect the kettlebell swing, since the mechanics of the two exercises are similar. If you cannot perform a swing properly then you should not try a snatch. Start with a light kettlebell when first trying the snatch so that you can perfect your form and avoid straining your back or shoulder.

    About the Author

    Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.

    Photo Credits

    • Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images