Monday, February 26, 2007

Questions to ask yourself about the Snatch!

Finding an efficient and powerful groove in the snatch is essential if you want to make long term progress and keep your body healthy. You must find a technique that allows you to safely progress without trashing your hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders and back. Like any other exercise, the snatch can be abused if done incorrectly and with lack of focus.

Here are some tips that have helped me in my quest to find the ultimate snatch technique for my body. I was initially intrigued by the RKC power snatch (the more ballistic explosive type) rather than the relaxed and loose GS style. Having watched Federenko, Steve Cotter and other RKC's perform the GS version of the snatch I naturally started to include the more relaxed and "hip hinging" style. The challenge is that with my goals of maintaining some of my explosive ability to further enhance my sprinting ambitions, the PURE GS form doesn't quite work the explosive quality I need. At the moment I have tried to successfully combine both Hard Style and GS styles into one blended style. Effective? I think so. Of course doing this combination style doesn't really improve the extreme ranges of strength endurance as in GS or enhance Speed and Power as in the Hard Style Snatch.

The secret to having a great snatch is to ask yourself the following questions:

1) What is your primary objective in my training; Strength Endurance or Explosive Power/Speed? And if you are a competetive athlete, what dominant energy system do you need to train, AEROBIC or ANAEROBIC?

2) What are the current demands of your daily routine/job? If you are a Strength Coach/Personal Trainer and are on your feet on all day working with clients, ask yourself hwow resilient your body is by the end of the day? Do you have the endurance to withstand the stress of stretching clients, picking up weights through out the day, and actively teaching exercsies when needed?

3) Where are you weakest? Hip extensors? Quads? Your overall legs? Maybe it's your grip and shoulder stability?

4) Is your main goal just maintaining General Fitness? Fat Loss? Overall health?

Depending on how you answered the questions, let me suggest that you start by outlining your primary goals of training and design your training accordingly. Keep in mind that stagnation may occur quickly if your weak links are not strengthened. In my personal case I always know that my left shoulder is weak and unstable. If I completely forget about pressing, pullling and other accessory exercises, old injuries can rear there ugly head. You really do have to find what works for you by experimenting with different strategies, almost like a scientist would do trying to prove his hypothesis.

Is GS the holy grail for you? Maybe, maybe not. Is hardstyle KB NIRVANA? Maybe, maybe not. If your goal is GS, go for it. If you goal is more short, explosive power, I cannot see how GS would be a wise choice. There seems to be a storm brewing in the KB industry where the GS'ers are dissing the HARDSTYLER's and vice versa. What a joke. Get over it! There are numerous people that have benefited from doing both styles, so for all of you who are picking sides, get a life. Both have merit. If people would learn to THINK CRITICALLY and intelligently they would understand that choosing a snatch style depends on many factors. It depends on the learning ability of the clients as well as their orthopedic health and medical history. I for one think beginning KB students have no business doing 5 or 10 mintue snatch tests. Most of them cannot complete 1 good rep in good form, so what's the point of doing 10 mintues of it. Okay, RANT IS DONE!




A-1 Double KB Front Squats
20kg's 3 x 5

A-2 Pull Ups
12kg 3 x 5

B-1 KB Reverse Lunges


Bikram's Yoga

Friday (GPP DAY)

A-1 Reverse Lunges
16g's 2 x 6/6

A-2 Double Snatches
20kg's 2 x 6

A-3 MB Shouldering
100lb 2 x 3/3

A-4 Rope Waves
50 foot rope 2 x 30
16kg's 3 x 6/6


David Garrett said...

I liked the rant. For me and my tweaky elbows, I like the softer snatch style with my 16k kb. I have been experimenting lately with higher reps and my elbows are a lot less tweaky. I will still rip my bb off the floor now and again...just not with a lot of volume.
I like your sessions.
I look forward to doing some chinnies when I know my elbows will be safe. I will prolly always stay away from pull ups.
Nice post

Mark Reifkind said...

yes I liked it too Franz.One of the things to think about in terms of snatch style is how do you swing.I look at my snatch technique as just an extension of my swing.
Since I've been swinging with really straight arms the biceps, forerm should issues have calmed down considerably.the snatch feels the same as well.Just a swing with a flip over.
I agree with you, obviously, about the applicablility of the hs, anaerobic approach for helping your sprinting and overall power output.

Pete Diaz, RKC said...

well said..RANT ON BROTHER!!! Excellent points, and I for one am also tired of all the trash's like the old argument of which martial art is better. My answer is "the one that works best for you." Same with how you train. Strip away the facade and posturing and just get to lifting. It's all good.

And yes, Franz, I am getting into chinning/pullups! :) It does the body good. I have also been benching, deadlifting and of course, kb swinging. I gotta get it in when I can!

Royce said...

Great post man, I hate the division that was started.

Franz Snideman said...

thanks for the feedback guys!