Improve the Double Kettlebell Snatch With Chains

In the world of kettlebell training, the kettlebell snatch is considered the “tsar” of kettlebell lifts. It is a fantastic movement for total body conditioning and for learning force production. Those who know the kettlebell snatch love the snatch. And of course, after the single kettlebell snatch comes to the amazing double kettlebell snatch.

How to Progress to the Double Kettlebell Snatch

But before you learn the kettlebell snatch, you must first master the kettlebell swing, both two handed and one handed, and the kettlebell clean. I teach the kettlebell lifts in the following order:

  • Kettlebell Two-Hand Swing
  • Kettlebell One-Hand Swing
  • Kettlebell Hand-to-Hand Swings
  • Kettlebell Clean
  • Kettlebell High Pull
  • Kettlebell Snatch

Once you have mastered these kettlebell movements and the single bell snatch, then the double bell snatch is a great way to progress. I teach the double bell movements in the same progressive order as the single bell movements:

  • Double Kettlebell Swing
  • Double Kettlebell Clean
  • Double Kettlebell High Pull
  • Double Kettlebell Snatch

Using Chains to Improve the Double Kettlebell Snatch

I like to use swing, high pull, snatch chains to both teach and improve the single kettlebell and the double kettlebell snatch. A kettlebell chain is a series of movements performed sequentially by performing a single repetition of each movement. Each time the sequence of movements is performed, it counts as one complete chain. For example:

1 swing -> 1 high pull -> 1 snatch = 1 chain

The snatch should have a clean, powerful hip finish that causes the bell to float up, while the arm helps to execute the finish of the snatch by “punching” the bell straight up into the finish position like you are punching the ceiling. The swing in the chain preceding the snatch helps to groove the hip finish before the bell floats up into the finish position of the snatch. The high pull helps to pattern the path of the bell before you “punch” the bell straight up into the finish position.

The following sequence of chains can help you practice these movements and improve the kettlebell snatch. These chains can be used to practice either single kettlebell or double kettlebell snatches. Work the sequence of chains into your training program once per week for three to four weeks and let me know if your snatches improve!

Warm-up: Single Kettlebell Swing, High Pull, Snatch Chains

I warm up with single kettlebell swing, high pull, snatch chains before I start the double kettlebell swing, high pull snatch chains. I set my timer to 30 second intervals. Each work interval is 1 minute with 30 seconds recovery.

8 Chains
1 swing —> 1 high pull —> 1 snatch right
Swing switch
1 swing  —>  1 high pull  —>  1 snatch left
Repeat 3 more times R/L for a total of 8 chains

Take 30 seconds recovery , then move on to 10 Chains.

10 Chains
1 swing  —>  1 high pull  —>  1 snatch right x 5 chains
Swing switch
1 swing  —>  1 high pull  —>  1 snatch left x 5 chains

Take 30 seconds recovery, then move back to 8 Chains.

Repeat two to three sets of the 8 and 10 single kettlebell chains as warm up, and then move into your double kettlebell chains explained below.

Double Kettlebell Swing, High Pull, Snatch Chains

I set my timer to 30 second intervals. Each work interval is 20 seconds. When first starting out, use a 30-second work interval and a 30-second rest interval. Gradually reduce the time to a 20-second work interval and a 20-second rest interval as you move through your training weeks.

3 Double Bell Chains
1 double bell swing  —>  1 double bell high pull  —>  1 double bell snatch x 3 chains

Take 30 seconds recovery then repeat 3 Double Bell Chains.

Repeat 10 to 15 sets of these chains. I recommend to start with 10 chains and build up to the 15 by adding two additional sets of chains at a time as you move through your training weeks.

Note: If you are not ready to learn the double snatch yet, you may use these chains to practice your single bell snatch. Use the format detailed below if you are using a single kettlebell.

Single Kettlebell Swing, High Pull, Snatch Chains

Set your timer to 1 minute intervals. Each combined work/rest interval is 1 minute. Each work interval is about 40 seconds (20 seconds each side). Rest the remaining 20 seconds of the 1 minute interval.

3 Single Bell Chains
1 double bell swing —>  1 double bell high pull  —>  1 double bell snatch right x 3 chains
Swing switch
1 double bell swing  —>  1 double bell high pull  —>  1 double bell snatch left x 3 chains

Take 20 seconds recovery, then repeat 3 Single Bell Chains each side.

Repeat 10 to 15 sets of these chains. I recommend to start with 10 chains and build up to the 15 by adding two additional sets of chains at a time as you move through your training weeks.

Artemis Scantalides StrongFirstArtemis Scantalides is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, SFG Kettlebell Instructor Level II, RKC II Certified Kettlebell Instructor, and a Certified Kettlebell-Functional Movement Specialist. She specializes in Hardstyle Style Kettlebell Training. She is also a certified SPIN Instructor and certified to train the pregnant and postpartum client.   

Artemis completed the Iron Maiden Challenge on July 25, 2014. She was the ninth woman in the world to complete the Iron Maiden Challenge between StrongFirst and the RKC and the lightest and smallest woman to date, as of July 25, 2014, to complete the challenge.
 
As co-owner and CEO of Iron Body Studios in Needham, Massachusetts, ReebokONE Fitness Ambassador, and creator of the I Am Not Afraid to Lift workshop series, Artemis seeks to empower women through strength.

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Artemis Scantalides
SFG Team Leader

Artemis Scantalides is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, SFG Kettlebell Instructor Level II, RKC II Certified Kettlebell Instructor, and a Certified Kettlebell-Functional Movement Specialist. She specializes in Hardstyle Style Kettlebell Training. She is also a certified SPIN Instructor and certified to train the pregnant and postpartum client.


Artemis completed the Iron Maiden Challenge on July 25, 2014. She was the ninth woman in the world to complete the Iron Maiden Challenge between StrongFirst and the RKC and the lightest and smallest woman to date, as of July 25, 2014, to complete the challenge.


As co-owner and CEO of Iron Body Studios in Needham, Massachusetts, ReebokONE Fitness Ambassador, and creator of the I Am Not Afraid to Lift workshop series, Artemis seeks to empower women through strength.


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5 thoughts on “Improve the Double Kettlebell Snatch With Chains

    • SuperJoel, the latest wisdom is to drop them all the way down in one movement when the weight is light and it’s safe. Safety first, and once the weight gets to a certain point, then bring them down to the shoulder first. In other words, it depends …

      -S-

      • Steve, that is a great way to kneecap yourself. Bring it to the shoulders and focus on form. Most people are too uncoordinated to control 2 bells flying from over head. Stick to music with that opinion

  • Excellent progressions for many purposes, e.g., someone who has finished ETK and feels they need a preparatory cycle of doubles work before hitting RTK or other doubles-focused program.

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