Went to gym for the treadmill run today, but overdid the speed and got shin splints after 2.5 km. It was too painful to continue, and I went home. That’s why I decided to do some snatches at home. I set Wild Bill’s timer at 1 minute intervals and did
20 kg snatch
1 minute sets/1 minute rest
300 snatches in total.
I did 15 reps a minute, so that intervals looked more like 50 seconds work, 70 seconds rest.
This type of workout is great. It keeps your heart rate high – but not too high - for a long time, my workout took 40 minutes. It also allows you to work on the technique: you don’t get too tired to just trying to squeeze another rep, and there are more than enough reps to try various adjustments.
And that’s what brings me to the main theme of today’s post, technical aspects of snatch. As you remember, couple of months ago I mentioned that in Russia now they gave dedicated periodical, Girevoy Sport magazine. Couple of days ago I received it in the post, Vasily Ginko sent it to me at my request when he was in Sydney. It is a nice magazine with the glossy cover and good quality paper. Most articles are more of an entertaining value. However in the last article Sergey Rudnev discusses the technique and his approach to teaching GS snatch.
I am not going to translate the whole piece, most details are well known and have been discussed before, here and elsewhere. There are several points though that caught my attention.
First point is the biomechanics of lower phases of snatch, when the bell is below the waist. According to Rudnev the arm holding the bell must come in contact with the body and stay in contact until the bell is swung upwards. After the bell passes the lowest point of the trajectory the hand is turned so that the thumb is pointed downwards. The bell stops due to the natural loss of momentum. At this moment the legs and the back are straight (!) and the upper arm, forearm, the back surface of the hand and the center of gravity of the bell form one line. Swaying of the bell is unacceptable. When initiating the movement of the bell forward from the dead point the legs bend and extend, so that they are straight by the moment the forearm gets separated from the body. That – the contact of the forearm with the body – is new to me. In order to practice this phase Rudnev makes his trainees do lower swings. They are similar to normal swings except the forearm does not lose contact with the trunk.
Another moment I never thought about and which makes a difference is the position of the bell on the upswing. Rudnev does not talk about it, however in the photographs of his trainee, Nikita Balagov, record holder of Russia, 191 reps of snatch (under 70 kg) this is clearly visible. By the time the bell passes the legs on the way up the thumb is pointed forward. In other words, while the KB is moving from the dead point to this level the arm completes 180 degrees rotation: from thumb backwards to thumb forward. During my snatch workout today I tried this and results are quite dramatic: much less strength is spent, it is especially noticeable in the arm and the shoulder (I think).
Rudnev is very specific about the legs being straight in the lowest snatch point and he recommends doing low swings with the special emphasis on this detail. Another common mistake among novices is early reversal of the bell at the bottom. This however has been discusses many times on IGx.
Last point – this time mine – volume training has its valuable place in GS training. I had 300 reps today to try various combinations of tricks that I discussed above. As the result I could train with relatively heavy bell of 20 kg and at the same time be fresh enough to being able to think about the technique.
Oh yeah, really last one. My hands are fucked, or, more precisely, right hand is. This points to another interesting phenomenon. My right hand is stronger and probably because of this I tend to either grab the bell harder or overlook the correct grip, or something else, which resulted in two torn calluses. Left palm feel abused too, but the skin is intact. Another detail of the technique to watch.