all posts post new thread

Kettlebell snatching with a sumo stance

Closed Thread. (Continue Discussion of This Topic by Starting a New Thread.)


Level 7 Valued Member
So, I'm just as unimpressed with a 2xBW bench press, where the bar travels some fraction of an inch in space, as anyone. And, I've been thinking of how I've been able to increase my rep speed and tempo via stance; while also doing my best to avoid a pause at the top of the rep in my Snatch Practice.

So, I will be experimenting a bit with form in my snatch per this thread. And, thank you all for the feedback.

That said, I found increased performance (as measured by the speed of each rep and the shortening of each set) via a stance that resembles a sumo deadlift.
And I found increased speed altitude and less arm and shoulder involvement.

And maybe I should be glad if a more conventional-deadlift-like-stance makes the reps or sets more difficult, or slower.
(Geoff's Reduced Leverage Training comes to mind.)​
And maybe it doesn't matter if it's slower.
And maybe it's a feature, not a bug.
(I'm not competitive, I'm training.)​

As to the jump test for stance, I understand that this is a commonly used way of determining your stance.
I have some hesitation about it for myself.
I have a below-average jump height (this is a lifelong-noticed deficit compared to my peers).
I'm a big heavy guy 5'10 ~250lbs (with relatively shorter (stubbier) 28-inch inseam legs, and a relatively long torso wearing long cut jackets), and I've been told by a person in track and field sports that I'm basically "doing everything wrong", as far as jumping is concerned. He tried to work with me for a bit about getting closer to a basketball rim, but to no avail.

So, I'll just say - that from my perspective - I don't feel as though I have a lot to gain from jumping.
At any given point in time, I'm maxed out at my low capacity to jump vertically.
So, I look towards practicing rooting as a route toward increased strength and power expression.

So, with respect to form - I guess I am wondering, about the following excerpt with respect to my claimed increased output with the wider stance.
Am I cheating?
Am I just cheating myself?

so, Pavel explains that there is a distinction to be drawn between power and speed loads.

It would seem that my 24kg bell is arguably progressing from a power load to a speed load in my practice.

That said my understanding is that as power expression increases one is accelerating as much as possible, thereby generating higher and higher speeds. I suppose that I'm thinking that the difference between a power and speed load for the snatch is whether that change in speed occurs throughout the upswing or not. Or by what fraction it's occurring.

So, maybe a new snatching program might be of use in the near future. Probably KSK.

Also, I've been pondering over the pause of a snatch at the top. I've been minimizing my pause at the top for a reason that I synthesized.

If it's true that in gauging the appropriateness of the bell size that one should pause at the top for less than 1 second, wouldn't 0 seconds be the best amount of pause?
If it's true that one is attempting to redline the CP system in order to elicit the MK reaction, then wouldn't one aim to minimize the fraction of rest between reps toward 0?

I happened upon the snatch standards in the book. which basically says: to pause at the top of the rep.
Also, I'm overdue for re-testing. ( was 4 months ago - 10 reps in 20 seconds. )


P.S.: As an aside - I am becoming a huge fan of steady-state-training. this long-term loading has proven to be effective for me. 10x10 delivers.
Last edited:
"The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between." Mozart

Look at GS sets where the cadence is very high but there must still be a fixation at the top.

High power does not mean high "RPM" (reps per minute)—think of it like rowing—the cadence does not = the stroke power and in fact higher cadence can reduce the stroke power.
So, with respect to form - I guess I am wondering, about the following excerpt with respect to my claimed increased output with the wider stance.
Am I cheating?
Am I just cheating myself?

I don't think there's a right answer here.

In the scheme of things, I think it's fairly inconsequential.

Where the mind gets bogged down in these sort of questions (I've been there) is in chasing several worthy pursuits or principles -- which sometimes conflict with each other. Being efficient (skilled, effective) vs. being inefficient (making something harder for a greater training effect, forcing ourselves to work on weaknesses). Being more powerful (Q&D aim; precisely targeted amount of power for specific adaptations) vs. being able to move more weight (strength and overall power). Playing to your strengths (sumo; a stance which feels more powerful to you) vs. developing more skill and power in the "correct" stance (a more conventional stance for snatches may lead to greater development in the long run... I don't know this, but it's the more proven path).

So in terms of "cheating" - I don't like the moral judgement type tone of ideas such as this when it comes to exercise. Really it's often just valuing one aspect more than another, which is not wrong -- it's just different, and may be for a good reason. Not to mention that these differences, as I said in the 2nd line, are usually fairly inconsequential in the big picture.
You have a bit of wider stance, your snatch feels better and you doubt that''s not good. Am I understand it correctly ?
My 2 cent:
- with swing/snatch, unless you use double bells then usually your stance would be not that wide, and the motion would still be a hip hinge with more or less vertical range of motion. It doesn't change the exercise very much.
- maybe you have a better leverage with wider stance, which helps your glutes fire harder during the snatch. Better leverage helps any lift with one or both ways: decrease the range of motion/get more muscles work with the same load. The second is not bad at all for training!
- about dl and sumo: the sumo dl done in the way of modern powerlifters is very, very, very different than CV dl. It requires tremendous tension in adductor and quads at begin of the lift. You cannot truly swing or snatch the bell like you pull no, snatch with wider stance is not cheating (you still dynamic hinge up and back, not push from quads to the floor to lock the knee then throw your upper back back to lock the hip)

One more thing: I think you're doing really good!
I'd have to look again at your KB snatch to be sure, but a wider-than-shoulder-width doesn't equal 'sumo' to me. If you're built to squat (and it sounds like you are), then you're probably naturally going to have a slightly squatty kettlebell snatch anyway and a little wider stance might suit you better.

The validity of using the "jump test" to determine stance for squatting or snatches or olympic lifting or really anything other than jumping is going to vary A LOT.
Closed Thread. (Continue Discussion of This Topic by Starting a New Thread.)
Top Bottom