Over the next year I want to try and consolidate all of the present research on the Olympic lifts on the CFLDN blog, so all those Olympic Lifters at Crossfit London in Bethnal Green E2 can benefit. As reports surface (or I find old ones) I’ll post the title here along with a review of the conclusion.
Whilst reading any articles I write on the olympic lifts, do try and sink into a deep overhead squat.
Just for the novelty.
A fair warning though. I’ll be sharing the ideas of others. Some may be accurate, others not so. The hope is that it will begin to inform your thinking and get you to critically reflect on your performance. It is , in reality, all about you.
I’ll reference, but I’ll probably not go the full Harvard route ( I’m getting lazy as I age)
So, let’s start with: The Snatch Technique of World Class Weightlifters at the 1985 World Championships. Baumann, et al.
This study used 3D film ( ah, the time before mobile phones) and measured ground reaction forces in the 1985 world championships in Sweden. The most interesting discovery was that knee joint movements are fairly small (1/3rd of the hip joint moments ) and do not correlate well with the total load. Better lifts actively control their knee movements.
The report identifies the point at which the lifter drops under the bar to be the most important and technically most difficult . It’s interesting to note that the trajectory of the bar comes in towards the lifter. Many coaches emphasise bringing the hips to the bar.
It was noted that the movement ends with a jump backwards under the barbell. This has been noted by Garhammer(1985) and Vorobyev(1978) who thought it was a fault. It was also noted that the pull brought the bar to approx 60% of the lifters stature.
Catalyst athletics offers these pointers about a possible back jump:
“My rules for whether or not a backward jump is acceptable are pretty simple:
- The body, feet and barbell must all travel backward equally.
- The body and bar must remain in close proximity during the backward movement.
- The lifter must receive the lift in a solid, balanced position without a need for compensation or adjustment
- It must be something the lifter has arrived at naturally, i.e. it’s not an intentional technical style”
So check out some Garhammer thoughts in Weightlifting and Training(chapter 5) in Biomechanics of Sport
This is quite a comprehensive (review) chapter and he identifies these three characteristics in better lifters
1 ) faster movements
2) body extension during the pull
3) lower peak bar height relative to body size
But enough of talking about pulls and snatches and what goes where. Below is an extract from Tommy Kono’s book showing successful and unsuccessful pull heights and the trajectory of the bar during the snatch. Notice the S pull!
We will talk S pulls in other articles!
A final word from Garhammer in .Barbell Trajectory, velocity and power changes and four world records
This study took place at the 1999 junior world weightlifting championships). The aim was to support the concept of using sub-maximal training lifts to increase power output. The paper concludes that 75% -85% of 1 RM is best to produce maximal power output.