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Competition Kettlebell Training: Improving the Snatch

By: Greg Brookes

With Kettlebell Snatching, blisters appear as a side effect from such a regular activity, this is both necessary and vital for your development. But none the less, the palms can become extremely sore and in some cases tears can appear on the palms of the victims. Such painful afflictions were seen on many a RKC in Denmark 2007, but this was due mostly to the inexperience of the individual, but largely because of the extreme high rep demands from the Kettlebell Snatch.

The Kettlebell Hard Style way just won't get you the high numbers that so many competition athletes can achieve. If you have ever tried to reach the high numbers of Kettlebell Competition Lifters you'll know that your limbs will give out way before your cardiovascular system lets you down. Have a fire extinguisher to hand as your hip flexors and forearms will need to be put out. An example of the level that is required for the 32kg Kettlebell Snatch is approx 250-300+ reps in 10min. (weight categories depending)

Two Kettlebell methods that we will discuss are the upward phase before lockout and the holding position in the downward phase.

Regular Kettlebell Snatch enthusiasts will usually use the up and over wrist method, with a slight pull to decelerate the Bell onto the top of the forearm. This is fine, but with the high rep demand and 10min duration this, during heavy training, won't get you the numbers required for competition level. It's inevitable that constant impact to the wrist will slow recovery and delay necessary Kettlebell training time.

What is required is the 'Round the Wrist' method. With a slight flick of the wrist the Kettlebell travels outward around the wrist resulting in less or even no impact to the forearm. It's a sweeter way to perform the Snatch and gets you much added reps without fatiguing the forearm.

The real pain comes from the pinching of skin between the handle and palm when the Kettlebell is swung downward for a second rep. This can be avoided with a technique called the 'Monkey Grip'.

The 'Monkey Grip' is achieved by holding the Kettlebell handle by the very ends of the fingers. When the Kettlebell is over head in the 'victory position' it is given a little push upward and the resulting effect is the Kettlebell moves outward away from the body. It is then possible with timing and good judgement to catch the handle with the 'Monkey Grip' method. The Kettlebell lands comfortably and is turned thumb pointing back ready for a repeated swing. This method again allows for more reps by not pinching the skin and aggravating any blisters that may be present.

Greg is a leading health and fitness professional and co-founder of the "Kettlebell Union" based in Hampstead, North London. Get Free fat blasting Kettlebell Workouts and tips at: http://www.kettlebellunion.com

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