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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 08-15-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
Roger Harrell
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Ok, to start my OHS are terrible (shoulder flexibility mainly). I'm just working mechanics right now predominantly and not worrying about weight. Here's the odd thing. I was working on them a bit this morning and Andres pointed out that my handstands are more open than my OHS. So I tried a narrow grip OHS (hands closer than shoulder width). It was WAY easier. I could do significantly more weight this way than with a wide grip. Thoughts, comments?
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:24 AM   #2
Seth Orell, Jr.
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Roger,

I don't have much to add except that my OHSs are also terrible. (I too spent Sunday's WoD working form with minimal weight) However, I would like to try the hand position you described. I'll post some feedback once I give it a try.

-Seth
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:07 AM   #3
Ross Hunt
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Jerk-grip overhead squats are 'easier' in that one can handle more weight once the movement is developed. For example, Chinese lifters claim to lift more in this fashion than they front squat. Who knows if that's true, but they certainly lift more with a jerk-grip than they do with a snatch-grip. My jerk-grip and snatch-grip squats are equal right now, but the jerk-grip squat is moving up really quickly.

Most people get killed by the jerk-grip overhead squats on shoulder/hip flexibility, though, so it seems really wierd that this would be the limiting factor with a wider grip. Are you going to full depth?

Another possibility--are you getting your shoulders up to the same extent in both exercises? Keeping the shoulders up in the snatch-grip ohsq 'feels' different--less like a handstand.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:35 AM   #4
Russ Greene
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How's your squat form? The better the squat form and the more hip flexibility you have, the less shoulder flexibility you'll need. Big chest, heels, butt out, lumbar curve.

I'll second what Ross said about keeping your shoulders up. This is huge. Keep your shoulders shrugged HIGH and hold it there with tons of tension in your entire shoulder area in order to support the weight.

It's strangely pleasing to see Roger struggle at an exercise demanding flexibility, body control, and balance, because he makes me look so bad at all the gymnastics stuff.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:26 PM   #5
Roger Harrell
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My hip function on the squat is poor. I really didn't do squats much prior to a year ago, and I certainly didn't think about any sort of form on them. I'm definitely keeping active shoulders, I'll have my hip positioning looked at.

An interesting thing is on an inverted cross I'm somewhat forward with my arms. I wonder if that bleeds over into this a bit.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:32 PM   #6
Keith Wittenstein
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Roger

That's pretty interesting. Here's what I'm thinking. First, it might be back flexibility. As you narrow the grip, the upper back goes into deeper extension. You might just be really flexible in the upper back. Do you have a problem with banana shaped handstands? I doubt you do, but you know when beginners do handstands they banana fairly severly to compensate for tight shoulders. Perhaps that is what is happening in your jerk-grip OHS.

My second thought is that it is just a strength imbalance. You practice a lot of moves with a shoulder width grip and probably only do two moves with snatch grip: OHS & Snatches. Perhaps if you did wide grip handstand work, you'd correct the imbalance.

Finally, how are your one and two handed dumbbell OHS? Do you find those easier or harder than snatch grip?

I get my clients doing OHS facing a wall with their toes touching the wall (or at most 2 inches away). That'll loosen up the shoulders and everything big time.
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:56 PM   #7
Roger Harrell
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Upper back not terribly flexible. No trouble with bannana shaped handstands at all.

I do wide handstand work pretty regularly. I do wide arm press to handstand daily, and work inverted crosses on rings. Not as much as shoulder width clearly, but not totally neglected either. Still if you look at volume (even pulling in my limited work with OHS and snatches) we're still probably looking at 95-5 kind of ratios.

Dumbell OHS much easier than snatch grip :-).

I'll try the nose to wall OHS. With weight, or just PVC?
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:01 PM   #8
Larry Lindenman
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Roger, sounds stupid but try wearing o-lifting shoes or construction boots...the heel will help a little.
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:39 PM   #9
Tom Brose
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I think that this might just be a case of you NOT having the flexibility limitations that almost everyone else has. If you take the flexibility requirements out, the OHS just needs to find the best structure to support the load. A jerk grip would be able to handle a greater load, I think more lat acivation, ability to get tight etc. I'd bet most people could support more weight is a standing position with a close grip. Problem would be, as soon as they started to squat, the bars going foreward.

So, yah its freakish, but makes sense to me.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:16 PM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Could it be the wide grip in OHS, grinds on your shoulder, Rog? That sounds weird that it would, given your wide arm handstand/cross work.
Also remember how you're always doing the stick dislocate drills and while you've gotten better, you've said yourself it has a ways to go. Same here. We're both pretty sucky at that behind the back stretch or skin the cat position.

If I still have this camera on friday, maybe we can take some footage. We'll have to use one of the high bars or maybe 2 if you want more load. Your hands might fit all 3, mine do not. My weight bar has been AWOL since the move and the weights are in storage.
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