Summer is for BBQs and weightlifting! Fire up the grill and load up your plates!
Coach Marvin here with a quick note on how to improve your Olympic lifts! Both the clean and snatch are amazing movements to have in your arsenal to help improve your overall fitness. If you’ve been paying attention we’ve been seeing some increased exposure to the Oly lifts in our programming. These movements, when done right, can both build strength and have a lot of bang for their buck when it comes to generating power! To put it simply, they get a lot done in a very short amount of time -- fast and explosive. Now, you might’ve heard your coaches say, “Keep the bar close!” To which you might’ve wondered exactly why? Well, let me tell you!
Keep the Bar Close...
As with all weighted movements we perform (in the gym and out of the gym), the closer the weight is to our bodies, the more efficient the movement becomes. More specifically, the closer to our center of gravity and/or point of balance. Translating that to day to day life -- we all know that it is easier to carry groceries at our sides and very close to our bodies rather than raised out in front! Plus, only weirdos carry their groceries like that!
A quick way to ensure we are keeping those barbells close through the first half of the lift, is to “knuckle down!!” Whether snatching or cleaning, once we get down into our setup position to lift...breathe and brace, and (with hook grip established) face the knuckles down to the floor. This is how you knuckle down. It will feel similar to how we false grip the rig for muscle-ups. It helps by creating a natural pressing grip versus pulling grip in regards to our lat muscles. Press? Why do I want to press? Well we use our lats to push that bar into our legs as we drive the bar off the floor with the legs. Performing a press in, versus a pull in, will help save the arms for our pull underneath the barbell! If you’re a little confused by the press vs. pull language...don’t worry about it! Just knuckle down and feel how close the bar stays to the body!
Try this technique out the next time snatches or cleans pop up in our programming! Or, if you’d like to ask a coach for quick suggestions focusing on these lifts, we are always ready to help. Hope this gets that bar close -- happy lifting everyone!