The aim of this study was to compare mechanical output from kettlebell snatch and 2-handed kettlebell swing exercise. Twenty-two men performed 3 sets of 8 kettlebell snatch and 2-handed swing exercise with a 24 kg kettlebell on a force platform. Vertical and horizontal net impulse, mean force, displacement, the magnitude and rate of work performed displacing the kettlebell-and-lifter center of mass (CM), phase durations and impulse ratio (horizontal to resultant) were calculated from force data. The results of repeated measures analysis of variance showed that: 1) vertical CM displacement was significantly larger during kettlebell snatch exercise (22+/-4 vs. 18+/-5 cm, p=0.001), and vertical CM displacement was significantly larger than horizontal CM displacement, regardless of exercise (20+/-3 vs. 7+/-1 cm, p<0.0001); 2) the magnitude (253+/-73 vs. 3+/-1 J, p<0.0001) and rate of work (714+/-288 vs. 11+/-4 W, p<0.0001) performed to vertically displace the CM was larger than the horizontal equivalent in both exercises, and the magnitude (5+/-2 vs. 1+/-1 J, p<0.0001) and rate of work (18+/-7 vs. 4+/-3 W, p<0.0001) performed to horizontally displace the CM during 2-handed swing exercise was significantly larger than the kettlebell snatch equivalent; 3) this was underpinned by the magnitude of horizontal impulse (29+/-7 vs. 18+/-7 N.s, p<0.0001) and the impulse ratio (23 vs. 14%, p<0.0001). These findings reveal that, apart from the greater emphasis 2-handed swing exercise places on horizontal mechanical output, the mechanical output of the two exercises is similar. Research shows that 2-handed swing exercise improves maximum and explosive strength. These results suggest that strength and conditioning coaches should consider using kettlebell snatch and 2-handed swing exercise interchangeably for the ballistic component of athlete strength and conditioning programs.
Copyright (C) 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.