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Old 06-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
Ryan Lynch
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I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

So I want to learn the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. I started Crossfit a year ago with a bit of a frozen shoulder. Lots of massage (deep tissue painful stuff), stretching, strengthening, etc and I now have pretty good range of motion and can shoulder press 145 (new PR as of this weekend).

However, I am not yet able to snatch or clean and jerk because of shoulder flexibility (my perception). I'm 6' 4" and have about a 6' span/reach. I have a 5 ft PVC pipe and I can put my hands on the very ends of it and do shoulder dislocations and even get a nice OHS, however, I'm not yet able to bring them in any closer.

I marked the positions on the Olympic bar and my hands are on the collars (which is not going to work). I've also marked positions on the PVC where my hands would be just inside the collar and also the 'ideal' position (based on Greg Everett's book), but I have not yet managed to get even my ears in front of my elbows here when in these positions.

So what is the secret to shoulder flexibility? What should I be working on or how can I improve my shoulder flexibly so I can get a snatch???

I really want to be like the cool kids and be able to o-lifts...


Thanks for any help,


-Ryan

P.S. Yes, I've been using the foam roller on the upper back area.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
Brian Degenaro
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

Get it stronger? A lot of times strength and flexibility coincide; the body remains tight because because it's afraid it is not strong enough for that range of motion. Improve the strength of your trapezius, rhomboids, and other muscles that aid in scapular retraction and flexibility usually comes with it.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
Ryan Lynch
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

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Originally Posted by Brian Degenaro View Post
Get it stronger? A lot of times strength and flexibility coincide; the body remains tight because because it's afraid it is not strong enough for that range of motion. Improve the strength of your trapezius, rhomboids, and other muscles that aid in scapular retraction and flexibility usually comes with it.
Suggestions?

Already do cleans, shoulder presses, shoulder dislocations, OHS w/ PVC concentrating on an active shoulder, foam rolling, stretching, etc...

I've made great progress, but seem to have reached a stuck point where I'm not making forward progress here.

What else could I be doing?

-Ryan
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

Simple hangs from a bar, 1/2 turns on a bar.

Look up cat stretch in yoga.

Try the figure 8's for stick flexibility. It's similar to stick dislocates but moves in a figure 8 motion.

Possibly look at external rotation exercises but I don't know what your shoulders look or move like.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:21 PM   #5
Brian Degenaro
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

Ring rows, chinups, skin the cats, etcetera. Any type of rowing helps a lot.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
Veronica Carpenter
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Lynch View Post
I am not yet able to snatch or clean and jerk because of shoulder flexibility (my perception). I'm 6' 4" and have about a 6' span/reach.....I've also marked positions on the PVC where my hands would be just inside the collar and also the 'ideal' position (based on Greg Everett's book), but I have not yet managed to get even my ears in front of my elbows here when in these positions.

So what is the secret to shoulder flexibility? What should I be working on or how can I improve my shoulder flexibly so I can get a snatch???
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Lynch View Post
Suggestions?

Already do cleans, shoulder presses, shoulder dislocations, OHS w/ PVC concentrating on an active shoulder, foam rolling, stretching, etc...

I've made great progress, but seem to have reached a stuck point where I'm not making forward progress here.

What else could I be doing?

-Ryan
Keep OHS'ing with an empty bar at an "at collar" grip. Push your depth a little more each time. You'll get there eventually.

What is your issue with the jerk? You don't need as much flexibility to jerk as you do squat snatch. Are you not able to reach overhead and lockout with the arms behind the ears?
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
Ryan Lynch
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

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Originally Posted by Veronica Carpenter View Post
What is your issue with the jerk? You don't need as much flexibility to jerk as you do squat snatch. Are you not able to reach overhead and lockout with the arms behind the ears?
Bingo!

Even pressing I have hard time locking out behind the ears...takes a lot of effort.

-Ryan
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:44 PM   #8
Veronica Carpenter
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

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Bingo!

Even pressing I have hard time locking out behind the ears...takes a lot of effort.

-Ryan
But you can press? Can you lockout your elbows?

Sounds like more stretching is what you need - stretch your chest and shoulder girdle by laying on a foam roller running the length of your spine. Stretch your arms/shoulder back against a wall or squat rack. GTG. Maybe try some ART.

If it takes a lot of effort, that's how much effort you'll need to put into it, and then some, until your flexibility improves.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:40 AM   #9
Ryan Lynch
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

Thanks All. I'll let you know how it goes...


-Ryan
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: I want to snatch (and clean and jerk too)

Handstands. Planche them a little bit if you can and try placing your hands wide, narrow, and in between. Also try holding one arm handstands against a wall, alternating hands. Try drillsandskills.com for tips and progressions.

Why handstands? Your upper back and shoulder girdle will be able to press the barbell straight up and in a comfortable position. Basically, it works the exact ability you need to improve your snatch and overhead squat.

As for the clean, be stronger generally, like Brian said. Keep working on it. Tweek your form, your hand position, everything.
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