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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 09-16-2005, 07:47 AM   #1
Allen Yeh
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Hey everyone,

Wasn't sure if this belonged here or the injuries section. I have searched through the various threads about how to hold the bar when it's "racked" during front squats, thrusters, push press...etc and thought I understood but after yesterdays thrusters and much wrist pain I wanted to post my thoughts here and see if I could get comments.

1. Front Squats - I used to hold the bar with my hands and it would irritate my right wrist a lot, I did a search here and found a different way to hold the bar. So now when I do front squats I am holding the bar on my shoulders with only 3 fingers and I find this to be very comfortable on my wrists

2. Squat cleans - Once I clean uthe weight up I usually roll it so that only 3 fingers are on the bar. The only problem with this is I find it hard regrip the bar to lower the weight when doing squat cleans quickly. Any suggestions? If I do it holding the bar the entire time my wrist just aches by the end (i.e. Elizabeth)

3. Push press/Thrusters - When I do thrusters I usually would grip the bar with all 4 fingers and thumb in the front squat position and then press. This position definitly made my wrist ache like crazy. After a few of these I tried to grip it like I would in a front squat with 3 fingers and try ti "re grip" as I pressed up. This made my wrist hurt less but then I felt less in control of the weight (didn't have a good grip when I was lowering the weight and smacked myself in the forehead with the 95 lbs) After that I opted for the DB substitute with no wrist problems (or head injuries).

4. Grip width for the above exercises has always been the width that I would deadlift with, right? Which is a little wider than shoulder width. I recall that with overhead squat and snatch the grip width is either so that the bar is 6" above you head or the minimum width in which you are able to bring the bar from the front of your thighs to your butt without bending the elbows. Is there a rule of thumb for the grip width with front squats, thrusters, push press, and push/split jerk?

Thanks to everyone and I realize that this has been posted before in some form or another and having read all those I am still confused about it.




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Old 09-16-2005, 03:35 PM   #2
Bert Brams
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Allen, I'll attempt to answer your questions, although there are many here who can give a much better input on the forementioned exercises :

1. On front squats : don't let the bar rest on your chest, but let it rest on your shoulders. This makes a great change in taxing your wrist flexibility.

2. On squat cleans, a solid grip is usually best ... but if you still want to use a 3 finger grip, try to hold the bar close to the palm of your hand. It makes regripping easier(although this again taxes flexibility ... you'll have to find out what works best for you, and in the meantime, stretch and front squat conventional)

3. For thrusters, take note on the Fran video in the Crossfit faq :
http://www.mitymous.net/weights/xfitfaq.htm
The wrist and forearm are in line with each other, as in a press. A bent wrist hurts me too, so I tend to stick with the straight version.

4. I haven't heard about a rule of thumb on grip on these boards yet, but I'm sure there is one ... I like to use one thumb-width from the inner rings away for cleans and all variations of presses.
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:02 AM   #3
Allen Yeh
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Thanks Bert for the response.

1. On front squats I do rest the bar on my front delts across my collarbone. That is the correct rack position right? Holding it there at first isn't a wrist problem but after a few reps my right wrist just feels like it has been jammed.

2. So on squat cleans I should have the solid grip the entire time and not attempt to roll the bar to front squat with the 3-finger grip, right?

3. Thrusters, hm ok I will try it that way again and see if I need some correction in the way I hold it. When doing these and push presses I get that jammed feeling in my right wrist after a few repetitions. I'm pretty sure I don't get this with standing overhead press or DB press/DB thrusters I'm thinking it might have something to do with the way the bar is forcing my wrists into a position it doesn't like?

4. Is this the same grip you use for your deadlifts also? or do you clean with one width and deadlift with another?
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:15 AM   #4
Rene Renteria
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Allen, I get this with my wrists if I'm not careful about form. Particularly in thrusters, I have to make sure I "pop" the bar up and off of my shoulders with my legs/trunk BEFORE I start pressing with my arms. If I press early, I'm then trying to accelerate the weight up while my lower body is also trying to accelerate it up still. This puts high loads on the wrists, especially when they're highly flexed in the rack position.

Maybe you're too strong and trying to muscle the bar up early with your arms instead of using hip extension/explosion to get the bar moving up.

However, if this is also happening on front squats, that might not be the issue. Have someone take a picture or video of you while in the racked and squatted position. I was shocked at how forward I am (meaning forward lean). This is from bad flexibility in the ankles/Achilles/hams, hips, and shoulders, to name a few. If you're forward, the bar rolls off your shoulders. Your (my) wrists had to hold the weight. When reversing the squat (heading back up), you're then depending on your wrists to accelerate the bar up, which is a much higher apparent weight than what's on the bar.

So really get that chin up, chest out, and butt back, trying to keep your shoulder "shelf" and your elbows up. I still have lots of problems, but it's getting better.

On the squat cleans x75 WOD, I was catching in the racked position, bar on shoulders and at throat (ouch a few times!), wrists highly flexed, and fingertips on bar. Moderate misses on timing the catch were painful, depending on how much the wrist was asked to hold.

Good luck,
Rene'
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Old 09-19-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
Jeremy Jones
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At the seminar we talked a little about this during the talks of press, push press, and push jerks.

One thing that helps is for front squats is to shrug your shoulders up and forward a little bit. This will hold the bar a little higher and require less wrist flexability.

For thrusters and any of the overhead presses, you should make sure that the elbows drop below the weight (not straight out in front) when you do the press. Think of it like a HSPU, would you try a HSPU while pushing your elbows straight forward?

You get more strength in the pressing part of the motion when your elbows are below your hands.
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Old 09-19-2005, 05:51 PM   #6
Tom Corrigan
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Allen,
there are a couple of options you may not have thought about.

1)Being able to correctly rack an Oly-bar can take a MONTH or more to adapt to. Dave and Nick of CFNorth got into OLY lifts and both had a lot of wrist pain for the first month, until their joints adapted. If you've put in a couple of months (3-4 Oly w/os a week) and you still have a lot of pain, you probably need to see a good sports doc/chiro to see if its an injury or just irritation.

2)Sub DBs or KBs for Barbell. You can keep your wrists straight and locked (more realistic in real life IMO) so you would have less pain. If you're not planning on competing in O-lifts, why try to work on something which is causing unnecessary pain and potentially injuring a VERY important and complex area. A lot of nerves, tendons and ligaments can be impacted by a wrist injury, which could then damage the feeling in your fingers and hand. Not worth the risk IMO. I worked in a steel factory one summer, twisting thick wire around rebar for 8hr day/6 days wk. My finger tips started to go numb, even with heavily padded gloves. It took about six months to get the feeling back.

3) Have you ever tried an EZ Curl bar for doing cleans, jerks, presses? You can angle your wrist slightly, which may help.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Tom
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Old 09-20-2005, 03:54 AM   #7
Allen Yeh
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Thanks for the advice, I guess I will find out with todays WOD.

1. I didn't think about that so far it's been a month and a half since i've been doing the WOD's with any consistency. I do know that I have had this wrist pain before with pushups during Basic training and even before that. (I might just be stuck with it?)

2. I subbed DB's for the last half of the 75 rep thrusters WOD and I didn't have a problem, well at least with wrist pain anyway, my legs burning like crazy well that's just a conditioning thing...heh.

3. I think i lack the flexibility to hold the bar on my shoulders and also hold my elbows down. The only way i can rack on my shoulders correctly is to have my elbows up. Maybe this will come in time?
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Old 09-20-2005, 07:09 AM   #8
Tom Whalen
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Allen, I'm no expert on thrusters, but I believe Rene is correct. The only way to rack the weight is w/ your elbows high, but you cannot get a proper push w/ your wrists bent back. So you have to "jump" the weight up, creating momemtum on the bar. When it's relatively weightless switch your grip to a normal one before really engaging your arms for the push overhead.
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Old 09-21-2005, 02:58 PM   #9
Bert Brams
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Allen :

1. This may be a grip problem. Try to take a hold of the bar the way I mentioned before(one thumb-width off the inner rings). If I go in any closer I'm bothered too.

2. On squat cleans, I'd try to hold on to the bar the entire time, especially with such a large number of reps. If you need to re-grip a lot because you're using the 3-finger grip, it's easy to get problems in execution of the entire lift, which sets you up for injury.
Find the easiest way to hold the bar, and don't let go of it whenever doing cleans.

3. Yeah absolutely. There's a great piece of advice(lots of it by all, actually)given by Tom, it takes some time to get used to olympic lift grips. The day you can do a bottom front squat with your elbows parallel to the floor, and your fingers around the bar, you know you're fully ready.

4. I use the same grip for my deadlifts, cleans and front squats ... even sometimes for my back squats, but this hurts my shoulders if I do it too heavy and too frequently.

Be sure to read everything said here, there has been some great advice given.
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:06 PM   #10
Adam Jennings
 
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I have the same problem with the front squats, i think it is my flexability though....i can't get my elbows up and get the bar to rack on my shoulders at the same time
It is either hold the weight with my wrists (which hurts) or drop my elbows....dang flexability...
Guess that should become my priority
I know my flexability sucks, just hate admitting it and crossfit is sure making me admit it
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