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Old Forum Snatch Technique Tip from Geoff Neupert

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Level 1 Valued Member
Excuse me but I'm italian and my english is bad, so maybe I didn't understand correctly.

Just to take away dubts, if I'm snatching with my right arm I have in the backswing the kettlebell grip at 45 degrees. With this tecnique my thumb is pointing backward or forward?

Thanks for the explanation.

Jason Ginsberg

Level 4 Valued Member
Well, it's something that GS competitors routinely do on the clean, but never on the snatch.  I'll give it an honest try over a couple of weeks and see what I think, and if I like it I'll report back.

It may very well be one of those things that works well for some and not others, depending on body type, etc.

One thing to add, as someone who trains Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo; the likelihood of "armbarring" yourself in any significant way is virtually nil.


Level 5 Valued Member
Thomas dri,

On the back swing, the suggestion is to try it with the thumb forward.

For me, very different, reserving judgement if it's better. I'm used to the "unscrewing" going from internal rotation on the back swing to external rotation at the top. I think this takes advantage of elastic (stored) energy but the tradeoff maybe is more stress on the involved tissues? Geoff's method  maybe relies less on the stored energy and costs less on stress on the system,   Just thinking out loud...  Anyway definitely worth experimenting with and I love the Iron Tamer's take, Not right or wrong, good or better


Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks a lot phil!!!! I used to go with a neutral orientation (grip parallel to the body), tried this morning with the thumb forword and indeed the bell seems to lift easier....


Gregory Frank

Level 1 Valued Member
I can't help but wonder if people who think this hand position feels "weird" or "bad" feel that way due to habituation. I could be misreading posters, but a lot of people in this thread who seem to take to it immediately seem to be relatively new to kettlebells. I've been using kettlebells for over six years, and the rotated "point your thumb back" hand position is what I was taught and have been practicing from the beginning. The first time I tried "thumbs up" was when Geoff presented it at the last Hardstyle Ventura, and yes, it felt weird. It certainly didn't feel "bad," though. I couldn't help but think that the awkwardness was more from it being different from 5 years of history and practice as opposed to the position being awkward. As Geoff pointed out from his personal experience, it seemed more of a mental issue than a physical issue. After all, learning to swing the first time around was awkward in and of itself!


Level 6 Valued Member

could you expand a bit on "when we went to the thumb down position"?

what was going on, what was the thinking behind this, etc.?


Level 2 Valued Member
I like it! Played around with it just now, and it really feels more natural after a little adjusting. KB does indeed feel lighter, and I feel tighter during the whole range of motion.


Level 1 Valued Member
Have now trained with cleans and snatches with the thumbs up. Due to whatever, my right shoulder really does like to unlock with the thumbs down mode, as per the 'shallow V' set out in ROTK. Also, less forearm rotation/twist and momemtum with the heavier bell, 32 and 40. In long sessions this is significant. So I think it is a mater of choice and training styles and circumstances. Thanks again Geoff for posting this.


Level 7 Valued Member
I have a DVD of Steve Cotter cleaning with the thumbs forward.  So I've done that before.  Anyway, tried it with the snatch today for my workout.  Not bad, I think I naturally do it at a 45 degree angle with the thumb forward.  I have never snatched with the thumb pointing backward.

Now that I think of it, if you corkscrew the drop, it's almost like throwing a slider in baseball.

Great tip, always willing to find a way to make the snatch easier.
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