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Old 04-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #1
Jason Gordon
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Default Looking for tips to improve first pull

Hello all,

I've been into weightlifting for a few months now, and I've become aware that my first pull, well, stinks! Here's a video of a (power) snatch at 60 kg (my PB is 64 kg), so it definitely exposes flaws:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMwRd5KGfsM

Any advice as far as positioning or cues go will be appreciated.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
Greg Everett
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You have pretty long legs, so no matter what, you're going to have a bit more trouble than the average fellow. That being said, there are a few things I would suggest to improve the first pull:

1. Keep stretching so you can set and keep a better arch in your back right from the start and through the entire pull.

2. Engage the lats a bit better to both help extend the back and push the bar back in toward your lap.

3. Push the bar back sooner - right as it passes the knees. You're allowing a bit too much space prior to the bar's contact at the hips.

4. Squeeze the shoulder blades back and a bit up and really use the lats to push the bar back and up as you start your second pull - that will help you get the bar up into your hips better without having to bend your arms as you currently do to get that position.

Good luck
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
Jason Gordon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Everett View Post
You have pretty long legs, so no matter what, you're going to have a bit more trouble than the average fellow. That being said, there are a few things I would suggest to improve the first pull:

1. Keep stretching so you can set and keep a better arch in your back right from the start and through the entire pull.

2. Engage the lats a bit better to both help extend the back and push the bar back in toward your lap.

3. Push the bar back sooner - right as it passes the knees. You're allowing a bit too much space prior to the bar's contact at the hips.

4. Squeeze the shoulder blades back and a bit up and really use the lats to push the bar back and up as you start your second pull - that will help you get the bar up into your hips better without having to bend your arms as you currently do to get that position.

Good luck
Thank you Greg! I am a proud owner of your book, and I'm always finding new points to pick up on each time I read it.

With myself being longer-legged, do you recommend any change from the standard starting position of "bar over the base of the toes"?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #4
Greg Everett
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No, you're fine in that position - and it will get better w a bit more flexibility.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
Jason Gordon
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Hi again Greg.

I've been incorporating your suggestions into my snatch over the past few weeks, and here is a link to my snatch one month after the above video was taken. (Looking back, I had forgotten just how bad my arm bending was!)


http://youtu.be/SF4h-2CUhCk

I'm feeling nitpicky about my arms not being dead straight when the bar reaches my hip pocket. I have read that a *slight* arm bend is acceptable, but at my neophyte stage I'd feel better about my arms being totally straight.

What are your thoughts about my improvements? Are there any serious concerns at this point?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:32 AM   #6
Jason Gordon
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I don't necessarily won't only Greg to reply, so I'm going to repost in a new thread so that anyone can feel free to post.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:05 PM   #7
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Main thing I would work on is pulling down under the bar more aggressively - and improving the mechanics of that pull under. You need to really force your elbows out and pull them high to get moving downward faster and closer to the bar.

Yes, your arms are bending a bit prior to your pull under, and it would be idea if they remained straight. Think of lifting your body rather than lifting the bar - the bar will follow.

Overhead position needs some work too. Bar is too far back in your hand - your wrists are not going to appreciate that as it gets heavier. Try to get it deeper in your palms while still allowing the hand to relax and wrist to extend as needed. Cradle the bar slightly behind the midline of your forearm.

Make sure you're not gripping the bar really tightly overhead also. Your elbows are soft - loose-ish grip, more stretching, more forceful elbow extension and shoulder blade retraction.

Also - is that Holley in the background? Where are you training?
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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

"Without a doubt the best book on the market about Olympic-style weightlifting." - Mike Burgener, USAW Senior International Coach

American Weightlifting: The Documentary
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:38 PM   #8
Jason Gordon
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Thanks again for the help Greg. I'll get to work and probably post for more feedback in a month, at least that's my current schedule hehe.

Yes, that's our club's weightlifting rockstar, Holley Mangold, in the background. (HBO was there filming Holley a couple of weeks ago.) We both train out of the Columbus Weightlifting Club, and Mark Cannella is the coach.
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