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snatch - CrossFit London

Don’t dismiss the split

By Andrew Stemler
To be  the best Olympic weightlifter you can be, you need to understand one crucial thing.
What the rules  of Olympic lifting actually  are.

Not the rules made up by the coach or some internet commentator, but what the rules really are. Many  organisations and coaches, in  the search for  that new world champion,  simply want to impose a particular type of lifting style on anyone who walks in through the door. If you don’t have the natural attributes of their ideal lifter,  they ignore you.

In this imposition of a style, many coaches seek to exclude, rather than welcome people. No where is this clearer than in the snatch, often totally wrongly , defined as the squat snatch.
Rather than  encouraging pointless online debate  about the snatch performance, read the  actual rules that govern the performance of the snatch  according to  the IWF
“The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform during the execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until the Referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell. The Referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body.”
You’ll notice that in receiving the bar,  the words are “splitting or bending the legs”.
The fantastically lovely deep squat snatch, is a thing of beauty, It’s where strength, mobility, flexibility, agility, and let’s face it, awesomeness  blend.  It is, however a specific method used by  strong, mobile, flexible, agile and awesome people . As many people will tell you, if you don’t have mobility and flexibility, as far as the squat snatch goes, you are screwed. Even if you are awesome.
What  the rules mean is you can also  power and  split snatch. The split and power snatch are available to all (well, OK, 95% of people).
So my advice is this.
Focus on the actual message of the Olympic lifts first. Get judged on how much you can lift over your head, not on the method you use. Splitting and power snatches are safe and can be used by awesome strong people who maybe are a teeny weeny bit challenged in the mobility, flexibility and agility department.
Vorobyev states in ” A text book on weightlifting”,  “depending  on the makeup of  anatomico-physiological  and psychological features the  lifter adopts… split or squat and other technical elements”
This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a go, and practice the squat snatch. Maybe it will encourage you to actually do some mobility and flexibility, Maybe you’ll actually try and nail your  over heads squat,  but why not, in the meantime,  make sure you have a great power and split snatch too.

Olympic lifting with grunts

Little did Aryna Sabalenka realise that her controversial grunting in the 2018 Australian Tennis Open could assist Olympic weightlifters in Bethnal Green E1. A short yell or kiai has always been part of martial arts, and exertion is sometimes accompanied with a bit of a grunt. But, is it a technique or tactic you should use to improve your snatch and clean and jerk?

Damian Farrow (2018) in  ‘All the Racquet: What science tells us about the pros and cons of grunting in tennis’, put the advantages of a grunt in simple terms.

Ball velocity increases with a grunt.

In fact if you check out  “The effects of grunting on serve and forehand velocities in collegiate tennis players”. You’ll see two impressive figures.

If you grunt, you get: a 3.8% increase in groundstroke-hitting velocity and a 4.9% enhancement in velocity.

According to that report “The velocity, force, and peak muscle activity during tennis serves and forehand strokes are significantly enhanced when athletes are allowed to grunt.”

And, significantly,

“Grunt history, gender, perceived advantages, and disadvantages of grunting, years of experience, highest level of competition, and order of testing did not significantly alter any of these results”

I must confess that the exact science behind this phenomenon slightly eludes me, but  allegedly, increased force on impact lies within the concept of kinetic energy. KE is the energy of motion which is transferred on impact. KE is calculated as one half of the product of mass and velocity squared.

Grunting, so brainy people say, tightens the body core which increases the mass behind the tennis strike, thereby increasing the force on impact resulting in the increased velocity of the tennis ball.

The carry over to Olympic weightlifting at CrossFit London is obvious. If you lift quietly, the chances are you are missing out on some free energy that could move the bar to where you want it.

Try grunting  when you snatch.

by Andrew Stemler

and on the 10th week she rested.

Crossfit at Crossfit London, in Bethnal Green E2, is amazing for many reasons. One of the reasons is that our classes and programming delivers the full Crossfit prescription as  clearly stated in the  Crossfit 100 words.

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch.
Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.
Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports”

In short, if you are trying to “do” the full Crossfit prescription you: 1) regularly practice and train the major lifts. 2) similarly, you (try and) master the basics of gymnastics.  3) Then you do some cardio, hard and fast, and then 4)  as if that’s not enough, you also use these elements to create workouts.

In fact, most of our  Crossfitters do this almost every day. In our CrossFit classes we tend to have strength, skill, and then a  WOD.

The great feature of some of our packages is that you can spend ample time self-training at off-peak times, so you do that class AND SOME!

Now and then you need to rest. In fact every 10 weeks or so, you really need either a week off, or make it a reduced week, where you cut the weight and intensity down.  For humanity’s sake if nothing else. You’ll notice our  strength regimes have de-load weeks.

However, if you have been smashing it for 10-12 straight weeks,  think about taking a few extra days of rest!

If you are struggling with classes,  or there is a skill that has “got your goat”, do drop me a line and we will see if we can fix you up with some personal training sessions with the best person on our team ( we have therapists, diet experts, muscle up specialists and people who can really, really  lift heavy stuff). Click here to chat about personal training

What Shoulder Pain Exercises to Do For Crossfit

3 Tips For Shoulder Pain Exercises to Do For Crossfit

Do you get pain in your shoulders before or during lifting? Maybe some moves like snatches or overhead squats are impossible because of it?

Here are three tips to help relieve your shoulder pain to make it easier easier to lift and prevent further discomfort.

1. Diagnose

First step is to work out: how bad it is? Shoulders are complicated and serious injuries must be treated ASAP.

Ideally ask a physio or doctor friend who can give you a free once over. If it’s anything ligament- or tendon-related you are best to see a registered physiotherapist and do everything they say before moving on to step two. If the pain is just in the muscles, crack on:

2. Relieve

What exerciees can you do to relieve shoulder pain? Chances are pain will be from overuse or tight muscles so anything you can do to relax the muscle will help.

Start by doing some shoulder stretches after every Crossfit or weights session. This will ease out the scar tissue.  – you’ll learn some great examples in our flexibility classes.

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Adding in some foam roller work as well will help. Whatever you do:

  • Go light, especially while the shoulders are still sore
  • Get support. Seek the advice of someone who knows what they are doing as well as a partner to stretch with. Having someone else will ensure you don’t push yourself too far and can focus on easing your pain as fast as possible

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3. Prevent

Shoulder pain during and after sessions often comes from incomplete recovery. Make sure you stretch after every session as this is the biggest mistake people make – and you don’t want to be one of them.
Second thing you need to do is even out any imbalances, as chances are if you’re experiencing pain it’s from tight shoulders. Work on improving your shoulder flexibility consistently the bridge is ideal for this and looks cool as well!
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Anyone can get more flexible in the shoulders, no matter how tight you feel now, and once you do it will open up new possibilities and help you feel amazing in your sport and life.
So why not give it a try:
Come along to a flexibility class or if your serious about FAST results book a ‘Less Pains, More Gains’ get-flexible 1-1 on:
07504 142211
felix@superflexcoaching.com
 
Felix