Friday, March 26, 2010
Pull as high as you can? No, pull high ENOUGH
This idea may seem counter-intuitive to some, since you'd think "the lighter the weight, the higher I pull it". That's true only if your focus is on getting the bar UP. Instead, if you focus on getting the bar to your rack position in a full squat, lots of good things happen:
1. You're not letting the bar crash on you
2. You're not "riding the bar down", wasting valuable leg strength
3. You're able to "catch the bounce" at the bottom with maximum efficiency
4. All your reps feel the same as you warm up, so nothing changes when you hit heavy weights
After you explode, think about whipping the elbows with lightning-fast speed and ACTIVELY racking the bar on your "shelf". Don't let the bar fly up or out. Bring it into you, keep it close to the body all the way up, and turn it over FAST and SMOOTHLY.
Here's a demonstration, starting with the empty bar and working up to 100:
Of course there are lots of little things I can do to improve, and I'm always working on it, but the general point should be clear.
Just another little tip to help you on the road to improving your Olympic lifting form...
If anyone out there is interested in seeing what I might be able to offer you, in programming, technique critique, or anything training-related, just email me at email@example.com
I have recently been using an active shrug after the second pull in order the get under the bar faster. Just wanted to see what you thought about this.
I tried it on snatches the first time today, and I have to say it made a real difference. I had been doing on cleans for a little while, and it made a lot of difference. On snatches I have been having trouble getting under the bar fast enough, but when actively shrugging myself under the bar I was getting under the bar what seemed like twice as fast as before (not really twice as fast but noticeably faster). Plus when actively shrugging I did not have the tendency to get lazy once the bar was overhead, which is also a bad habit.
It certainly sounds like you're on the right track. An active shrug is fine as long as the purpose of the shrug is, as you say, to help pull yourself UNDER the bar, rather than to try to get more height on the bar. It's equally important a concept on snatches and cleans, so I'm not surprised you felt a big difference on snatches. If every rep is identical, there's no room for laziness, no floating under the bar, no just thinking 'well, it's high enough so I don't really have to get under it', and so on.
Good article Mezzie
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