Back in the early days of Girevoy Sport, returning to the rack position after the lockout was not against the rules. The fact that kettlebell sport rules have evolved in parallel to the growing technical abilities of the athletes, does not make the kettlebel half snatch a useless lift…
In the video below I show 2 angles of how to do the kettlebel half snatch. Keep in mind there are many nuances possible when it comes to snatching a kettlebell, and this is not a full on tutorial.
The forces generated by the falling kettlebell are reduced but at the same time the lift requires more power to return the kettlebell overhead.
A shorter drop means less chance of ripping the hands or making a bad drop that could result in a tweaked back. This lets you handle heavier weight with more safety.
The body absorbs a direct hit as the kettlebell returns to the rack, loading the skeleton and muscles in a way that the kettlebell snatch cannot do.
For beginners, reducing complexity is a way to help them learn new skills.
As a rule, snatch should be taught after the pressing exercises. With the kettlebell half snatch, dropping into the rack reinforces a skill they already know.
Once a student is catching the kettlebell with good technique, then they can start learning how to drop the kettlebell safely and efficiently.
Finally, when mobility and technique are in place with a single kettlebell, it is possible to move on to the double kettlebell half snatch. I like to do them as part of a complex or a circuit, a few reps at a time.