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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-08-2007, 03:55 AM   #1
Douglas Schmale
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I'm having problems balancing when I approach parallel in the OHS and snatch. I feel very unstable when I try to transition between above and below parallel. I have no problems repping down close to parallel or sitting in the bottom possition. I can even walk around w/ 95lbs overhead in the bottom possition. I can do about 30 OHS w/ a broomstick and perfect form. I can stand up ok w/ weight and can do a few reps w/ 95lbs and considerable discomfort. My max OHS is 50kg and it's killing my snatch since I can only power snatch (60kg). When I fall, I never fall the same way twice though I feel like I'm being pulled backwards usaualy. Some info for your consideration:

1. I can front squat 100kg w/ perfect form. I can rep 60kg well over ten times in the front squat w/o breaking form.
2. I clean or jerk 100kg, C&J together 90kg.
3. I can deadlift 365lbs for 3 reps at a bw of 160lbs. My back is flat or arched throughout and very verticle.
4. My shoulders are very flexible. I can rotate them over w/ a broomstick and straight elbows in the snatch grip from hanging in front to behind me 20 times easily. I can do it once w/ a 20kg bar.
5. I can grab a stick w/ my thumbs touching, arms straight and locked and squat 10 times w/o my hands moving forward.
6. I don't do ab work.
7. I have had bad shoulders all my life. They've been impinged for as long as I can remember (as a kid I used to slip them in and out of socket for giggles). I hurt them when I bench heavy but have not had any problems in over a year since I stoped benching and started working my cuffs.
8. I have problems locking my elbows but only w/ weight and only in the snatch. My jerk and weightless snatches are fine.

I imagine that I just have to tough it out and keep the weight low, work the OHS often and hope for the best. Any input from those who really can help would be greatly appreciated. I'm not trying to offend anyone but I'd really only like to hear from those that have either had similiar problems or snatch well and see alot of lifts.

On a side note, this is my first post. I really like the practicality and mentality of CrossFit. I've been doing something similiar for a while w/ heavy days speed days, and active rest days but could never have put something so comprehensive, yet simple and entertaining together on my own. Thank you all very much. Sorry for the long post.

(Message edited by dschmale on May 08, 2007)
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:53 AM   #2
Roark Marsh
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OHS is a core exercise. Very tough on the neuromuscular coordination. I think that's probably what's killing you. I'd practice heavier OHS (as long as form is good, and shouldrs are active/uninjured), and add in L-sit, knee to elbows sort of generic core strengthening.

Good luck, this is an awesome, though brutally difficult exercise.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
Veronica Carpenter
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Douglas, it's really hard to diagnose the problem without a video. But, I'll take a stab.

1. If you're falling backward with your snatches, you may be swinging the bar out and not pulling in a "straight" line or just overpulling. OR, you may have a problem with finding the "hole" - positioning the lockout overhead.

2. As Roark said, OHS require lots of core strength/stability. Work OHS's for low reps - no more than triples - at a weight that you can do with good form - full ROM. Think about reaching for the ceiling as you squat down - keeping the entire torso "tight"

QUESTION: Where do you feel discomfort in those 95lb OHS's? Is it in your shoulders? Try adjusting your grip in or out a bit.

3. You might also incorporate some drop snatches/snatch balances in your routine to get used to "dropping" under the weight.

And a final note. Only when you increase the weights will your weaknesses show in any exercise. You can lockout with a "weightless" snatch (i'm assuming you mean an empty bar) but not with a load? Focus on keeping those elbows locked. Your form falters with heavy OHS's? Work them more and focus on your "sticking" point - stay tight.

Hopefully coach B, Greg E, or Lincoln will chime in with more insight.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:50 PM   #4
Douglas Schmale
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The "discomfort" I'm talking about isn't exactly physical. The movement feels unnatural and when I begin approaching parallel w/ a good weight over head I kinda shake; my hips move forwards and backwards quickly but nothing moves side to side and my trunk never threatens to bend. The instability feels mostly in my legs and hips which is perplexing because they're fairly strong for my size and I have no problems w/ front squating or back squating and the mechanics of it seem more akin to the more stable back squat in terms of torso inclination anyways. Perhaps I'm leaning progressively, even if only a bit, to balance and my shoulder possition changes to compensate for this complicating the whole manuver? I can't lift now or I'd get under some weight and tell you for sure. And as for the falling back, it happens faster when I snatch but if I OHS then I feel the same way, snatch pull or not. Thanks for your input.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:24 AM   #5
Veronica Carpenter
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The wobbly discomfort will go away as you get stronger in the OHS. The mere positioning of the bar overhead is more than enough to humble a "good" squatter.

As for falling back, you may be overemphasizing sitting back on your heels. Shift just a tiny bit so your weight is balance through your entire foot. OR (and this is just speculation since I haven't seen you lift,) your bar positioning could be too far forward and your torso too upright. There should be a little - just a little - forward lean and the bar should be locked out behind the plane of your ears (think of arms as windows - put your head through the window)

Again, a video would help a lot in diagnosing your problem.
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