Friday 1 January 2010

New Year's yardstick

I had a short 45 minute session yesterday. Wayne Healy was training also and helped me with my Snatch technique which is all I really wanted to work on. As always, I was working on getting my back as flexed as possible and my positioning as conducive to proper alignment as I can. The day before was not as productive as I would have wished so I wanted a short, light session to reinforce technique.

The previous night and that morning, caertain areas were stiff and sore in a way that's more like when I was weight training for rugby, rather than weightlifting. I think the muscles around the hip and back area are simply not used to the different kind of stimulation they are recieving from all the forced partner stretching we are doing. Alex helped me work out the stiffness in my back and I was ready to go after a nice satisfying 25 minute warm up.

Wayne was Snatching for the second time in three months due to a shoulder injury he picked up after the Club Championships in Cork and I could see his technique smoothing out with each rep. I only wanted to work on the Snatch and I went up to three doubles with 80. My back was feeling nice and locked and I actually felt like I was getting some flex in my mid and upper back. The most important aspect of my training, however, was a little observation that Wyne made about when initiating the first pull. He has observed that I have to get my hip area as tight as possible and use this tension to get my glutes, not my back, to initiate the first pull. This physically felt different and helped me achieve rising the hips and the shoulders at the same time. I also think this may help me keep my back locked throughout the pull.

Have a look at the video below and let me know if you have any constructive criticism. I have also included a little tribute at the end of the video that is both interesting and motivating. Don't you just love weightlifting?


brendan said...

Great improvement from Zag

bigphathar said...

Nice snatching. You're feeling a bit tight at the moment but your bottom position in the snatch has made a massive improvement over the past few weeks: Stick with it!

As for Sami, he's got more potential than California before the goldrush!

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time peanut gallery member...

"...observed that I have to get my hip area as tight as possible and use this tension to get my glutes, not my back, to initiate the first pull."

Right on. The first pull of a heavy snatch is made overly challenging when it feels like a good morning from the floor in terms of load on the erector spinae.

The consequences of this load are not superficial; if you either lack the strength or the flexibility to lock a lumbar and to a lesser extent, a thoracic arch in the manner of a back squat, you:

1) are forced to overcome the pull of the bar forward by leaning back, rather than by rising up and over the bar, creating a mess of positioning issues. 2) you are prolonging the second pull, as full extension at your hips will necessitate that you arch, or at least straighten, your back. This slows you down.

Pre-tensioning the posterior chain is the only way to mitigate a large and unnecessary load on the lower back, and will give you the stability to rise up with the shoulders (ah, while still staying over the bar!) from the floor to above the knees.

All this aside, you are making some tremendous progress. Best of luck with continued success in 2010!

Barry said...

Great points and interesting ideas above. Cheers for the comments.

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