For a full-body power exercise, nothing beats the kettlebell snatch. The major target muscles include the back, shoulders, quads, and hamstrings. Kettlebell snatch has gained so much popularity, especially from busy office types who at times have to forego the regular gym workout.
The LiveStrong foundation describe the exercise itself as involving picking up the kettlebell off the floor to over your head, generating power from your hips, pulling with your hand, arms, and back, and using your core for stability. It is an all-body workout packaged in one. But what exactly are the benefits of this exercise?
1. Total Workout
According to the Men’s Health Magazine, the kettlebell snatch is considered a complete or total workout as it hits most of the body’s major muscles. The shear and compressional forces at the beginning of the swing activate the quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings while the shoulders and arms are activated at the top of the swing during the snatch.
The swing that leads up to the snatch activates the major back muscles, the erector spinae and the latissimus dorsi. At the swing’s halfway point, the major abdominal muscles (that is, the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis) are activated.
The calves and back also play a major role when lifting the weight off the ground. Evidently, the snatch will benefit multiple parts of your body by exerting effort on all major muscles.
2. Total Burn
When you need to maximize your metabolism and burn as much calories as possible, then the kettlebell snatch is perfect. You get to activate all major muscles and that means your whole body will be burning energy.
According to a study by The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the kettlebell snatch offers a high calorie burn, averaging 20 cal per minute, due to speed of performance and number of muscles involved in each movement.
3. Flexibility and Dynamic Balance
Because it involves all major muscles, the kettlebell snatch increases one’s flexibility and general body coordination. Each rep in a set involves a number of beneficial extensions and flexions.
For instance, the lumbar spine moves from an angle of 26 degrees at flexion and ends at 6 degrees at full extension. The hips move from 75 degrees at flexion to 1 degree at extension. The knees move from a flexion position of 69 degrees to a peak extension of 2 degrees.
Moreover, the dynamic balance in the posterolateral direction show markedly high gains. The unevenly distributed weight of the kettlebell engages both your core and stabilizer muscles in controlling momentum. These are benefits that mirror individuals’ real life movements and activities.
4. Power Training
The snatch is a power exercise. It increases your strength and bolsters your stamina. The snatch’s resistance challenges and strengthens your muscles.
You can vary your kettlebell’s weight to build more power and make quick strength gains. The ACE study analysis uncovered that the abdominal core strength made the most dramatic change with increases of up to 70%.
5. Cardio Benefits
The kettlebell snatch involves quick and explosive muscle movements. This presents a challenge to your aerobic energy system. In the ACE study, it was found that all study participants managed to maintain a heart rate of between 86% and 99% of their maximum heart rate during a kettlebell snatch workout.
6. Inexpensive and Convenient
You cannot afford the gym? Then simply buy a single 16kg (or whatever your weight preference) kettlebell and keep it within reach. You do not have to schedule so many hours to head to the gym several times a week.
And even if you cannot spare the cash for a kettlebell, you can devise one with almost any kind of weight. It is ideal for those with a sedentary life, busy schedule, or if you are stuck in one place for prolonged periods.
The kettlebell snatch is not one of those boring exercises you keep finding reasons to postpone. It is exciting and offers lots of variations. You can use both arms, one arm, variations in leg positions, variations in resistance levels, and many other kinds of variations.
Variations keep your workouts interesting and something to look forward to. In fact, if you keep a kettlebell handy within your office, you can pull off a few reps as you stretch after a long sitting session.
8. Iron Grip
Forget all those soft soppy handshakes you have been offering clients, acquaintances, and those failed dates. The Working Man Fitness asserts that the kettlebell snatch trains your grip and makes it firm. Apart from handshakes, you will be better able to handle everyday tasks such as starting the lawn mower, opening jars, and safely carry your groceries.
The kettlebell snatch exercise has many health and fitness benefits. You will experience rapid fat loss, build your strength, increase your endurance, form your functional strength, and increase your VO2 Max. All the good things you have ever wanted from a gym workout.