The Kettlebell Snatch Challenge
When it comes to developing speed and coordinated, total-body strength and muscle, nothing rivals an Olympic lift called the barbell snatch. "It's great for increasing your ability to produce power, so you can jump higher, throw farther, run faster, and hit harder," says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of musclemorphosis.com
So why don't you see every guy at the gym pounding out rep after rep of the barbell snatch? It's one of the most technically difficult lifts to master, says Durkin. Think of it this way: It’s basically a deadlift, shrug, jump squat, and overhead squat performed consecutively in one fluid motion.
That's why Durkin chose the single-arm kettlebell snatch, a modified version of the Olympic lift, for this weekend's challenge. You'll get all the benefits of the barbell snatch because the exercise still employs nearly all your muscles and activates your fast-twitch muscle fibers—the ones with the greatest potential for size and strength. Plus, there's an added bonus for your six-pack when doing the kettlebell snatch. The kettlebell's weight isn't evenly distributed like the barbell, so your smaller stabilizer muscles and core have to work significantly harder to control the bell's momentum as it changes directions.
HOW TO DO IT
Durkin recommends starting with a 12 kg kettlebell.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell at arm’s length in front of you. Swing the weight between your legs, and then pull it forward along a vertical path in front of your body in one fluid motion. When the bell reaches chest height, flip it over as you push the kettlebell overhead. "Don’t let the bell turn over and slam your wrist,” says Durkin. The key: Quickly punch upward to make the bell rotate around when the weight reaches eye level. Perform 15 repetitions with one arm. Switch sides and perform 15 more reps. That's 1 round. Repeat. Time how long it takes to complete 2 total rounds.
Ready to try it? Watch the video above to see how to perform the snatch with proper form. Durkin performed the 2 rounds of the challenge in 2 minutes and 12 seconds. Then he challenged the NFL players that train at his gym during the offseason to try it. The best NFL score was 1 minute and 56 seconds. What was your time? Let us know in the comments below.