There is a man that has has suffered from a broken arm from a kettlebell snatch. If you google it you’ll see a few reports about it, all from the same guy (who unfortunately shares a name with me.) I do not actually know this person. Apparently he is from Scotland.
Even on one website I got in a “discussion” with this guy as he attacked my kettlebell juggling. He said it was dangerous and was going to get someone killed and it was irresponsible for me to promote it. I’ll get to that soon.
He says his form was perfect yet somehow the kettlebell broke his arm when he did one rep that was no different from any other. Since this is the only case I have ever heard of this happening, I can only assume it was a freak accident, he didn’t have as good of form as he said, his bones happened to be weak for whatever reason, or a combination of these and possible other factors.
Having done thousands or reps in the kettlebell snatch myself, and knowing many others that have as well, I see no danger in doing the exercise properly (besides some ripped callouses but that can be easily avoided).
I did hurt myself once in a kettlebell snatch. It was with the Beast and I lowered it out of control and hurt my back slightly as it was too much to be put in the circuit like I did. That was many years ago and I look at that as a learning experience.
I have never hurt myself kettlebell juggling. Not once. Sure, I’ve come close, but reaction time is part of the fun 🙂 Anyone that takes up kettlebell juggling should assume the risks involved, and I do frequently point them out and what you need to do to be safe.
Kettlebell can hurt you if you don’t use them properly. They can even hurt you if you do use them properly, but don’t listen to your body. Just like with any weighted exercise, and bodyweight stuff too, there are multiple chances for injury.
But done properly I would say there is virtually zero worry of breaking your arm doing kettlebell snatches.