Monday, 30 May 2011

Bar Path and the First Pull

Wanted to show using videos what I was talking about a fair bit this Sunday, which was the path the bar travels during the pull from the floor to the point of explosion. The sole purpose of the first pull is to get the bar from the floor into the optimum position for driving it explosively upwards. If the bar is not in the right position, then despite the lifter's best efforts at explosion and then the pull under, the bar will not land in the right place, either resulting in a miss, or a struggle to stand.

The bar must move slightly backwards and into the lifter as it rises during the first pull. To allow this, it must start over the middle of the foot (around the laces on the shoes), not right up on the shin. The lats should be engaged slightly in the start position to stop the bar drifting out. As the bar is lifted, the weight should be on the heels. The knees should be pushed back and flared out to the sides to move the bar upwards, with a focus on keeping the back angle exactly the same. Once the bar reaches the explosion point (mid-thigh on snatch, a bit lower on clean), then the jump/hip thrust is initiated to drive the bar upwards.

Watch the video below and note the path of the bar. It comes in on the first pull, then goes out slightly due to the explosive contact of the hips. Its movement is always upward primarily. The pull of the arms drives the lifter under and brings the bar back and over the centre of gravity.

In the below video, the bar path is forward off the floor. The lifter is too far over the bar, with his weight well on his toes and the pull is rushed. As a result, he jumps forward and has to fight to catch the bar. At a heavier weight, this would undoubtedly result in a missed lift.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Hang Snatch and Warm-up Videos

Here's a nice video demonstrating technique for the hang snatch. This guy does one hang power snatch and one hang snatch, which gives a nice comparison between the two, but more importantly shows that the pull and explosion look exactly the same, regardless of where the bar is received. Look for the good contact at the hips, as well as the strong position in the hang with flared knees and hips back.

I also wanted to post a video of the standard warm-up that we do each session. This is by no means a definitive warm-up and if you have specific mobility issues then they merit extra attention. It does however a provide a nice general warm-up to establish range-of-motion at each joint. Coupled with a few sets of dropping snatch balance and muscle snatches with an empty bar and you are good to go.

Finally, just on the subject of handcare, I picked up a big tub of Emulsifying Ointment from the pharmacist's the other day. This is perfect for putting on your hands after training, and costs a fraction of the price of the brand-name stuff (£3 vs £12 at my local shop). It is exactly the same stuff, but wasn't on the shelf at my pharmacist's, I had to ask for it. So if you're after some greasy ointment for your hands, look out for this. Don't forget to sand your calluses down with medium grit sandpaper first - this will stop then catching on the bar and tearing.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Contacting the bar

In class today we spent a lot of time working on a good contact of the bar on the thighs in the clean and at the hip crease in the snatch. This slow-motion video demonstrates extremely well what I am talking about. Notice how, once the bar has passed the knees, the thighs are explosively driven against the bar as the torso moves back. This achieves the most powerful jumping position to propel the bar upwards. As soon as the aggressive contact occurs, the movement is reversed, flexing the hips hard and pulling under  the bar into a squat. This is what we want to achieve.

Hand Care for Weightlifters

Back to business as usual now with this brilliant video from Donny Shankle (US 105) and Glenn Pendlay (coach at CalStrength, home of some strong boys and girls) on hand care for weightlifters.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Few items for sale

Just a quick one to say, I am selling my drumset and 2 bikes on ebay. Anyone interested, please have a look on Ebay!