Eugene Sandow Teaches the Kettlebell Swing/Snatch (1894)This is an effective as well as graceful exercise, calling into play the chief muscles of the trunk and limbs, and imparting litheness and elasticity to the movements.


The bell is placed on the floor a little in front of the feet, ring to the right, heels in line, and about ten inches apart. Bending the body on the hips, now stoop and grasp the ring by the right hand, knuckles to the right, then pull the ball up sufficiently to clear the floor and swing it inwards between the legs, then, as it swings outwards again, bear it aloft, taking a step forwards at the same time with the right foot to give purchase to the movement and balance the body.


As the ball gains the elevation of the head in the ring-grasped hand of the outstretched arm, tilt it to the back of the hand, by an adroit turn of the wrist, at the same time thrusting the arm fully out, as in the act of lunging upwards, the body being thrown forwards to assist, by its weight, in pressing the ball up, and especially to ease or break the force of the contact of the ball on the forearm, as it is tilted to the back of the hand in the upward ascent. Repeat the movement, which will be found an exhilarating exercise, observing the caution not to injure or break the forearm by permitting the ball to come rudely into contact with it as it is swung aloft.



  • The text above comes from G. Mercer Adam’s (editor) book Sandow’s System of Physical Training, London, 1894, a chapter called SWING RING-AND-BALL LIFT FROM THE GROUND OVERHEAD.
  • Old-timers called “swing” (done with a dumbbell or a kettlebell) any movement which either had a pre-swing forward (then down or back, and after that all the way up overhead), or backswing (and then forward and up). You can learn how to perform it with a  dumbbell in our One-Arm Dumbbell Swing Tutorial.  “Snatch” (with a kettlebell, dumbbell, or barbell) was performed as what we call a “dead snatch” in StrongFirst – from the ground straight up overhead.

One-Arm Dumbbell Swing Tutorial - Free Video & .pdf Manual