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  1. #1
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    Default Upper Back Stretch At Bottom Of Snatch?

    I've started to work with kettlebells more. I have a question about form on the snatch. At the bottom, as the kb is swinging back under my legs before bringing it up again, I feel it pulling on my shoulder girdle, stretching the lats and upper back. Until the other day, I've been keeping my shoulders "packed" and lats tensed, as I understand that to be correct form.

    The other day, though, I let it stretch the lat out some as it neared the end of its back swing, then as it came back down, I pulled my lat in almost like with a pull up, and it picked up a big boost of acceleration that made the work of my legs and pelvic snap much easier.

    My question is: is allowing the lat to stretch so I can get that big lat pull, violating the "packed shoulder and tensed lat" rule, and therefore putting my shoulder at risk? Or is it proper at the bottom terminus of the swing to get that extra lat power?

    I hope I am clear on this, and thanks for any help anyone can give me.

  2. #2
    Steve Freides is offline Senior Member
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    Just a guess without seeing you do any of this - perhaps you've gotten strong enough that you can do this safely, but it is not how I would teach the movement to a beginner, nor is it what I'd recommend if you were doing snatches that were heavy for you. My guess is that, if you snatch regularly this way, you increase your risk of shoulder injury. That doesn't mean that you will get hurt if you snatch this way, just that keeping the shoulder packed is what's safest for the shoulder. But maximum safety is not always the appropriate course for maximum performance, so ultimately it comes down to whether or not this is something you can do long-term without shoulder injury. I'm sorry but I don't think anyone can answer that for you.

    Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

    -S-
    Flexibility Guide
    Last edited by Steve Freides; 06-05-2011 at 09:44 AM.

  3. #3
    faizalenu is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich in Nor Cal View Post

    The other day, though, I let it stretch the lat out some as it neared the end of its back swing, then as it came back down, I pulled my lat in almost like with a pull up, and it picked up a big boost of acceleration that made the work of my legs and pelvic snap much easier.


    I hope I am clear on this, and thanks for any help anyone can give me.
    Two things:
    1) In a snatch, the glutes and hammies are the prime moves at the bottom. Why would you want to make it easier on them but harder on what connect the arm to the hip. Seems kind of backwards.

    2) I think you are a confused about muscle function. While the lat packs the shoulder in the press, that is not what it does at the bottom of the snatch. I think at the bottom of the snatch, you are looking for "connection" but not necessarily max tension. The muscles that maintain connection are the later rotatator of the soulder. Loss of connection will leak power. Max tension will lose speed and waste energy. I know at the bottom of the snatch, I let the torso rotate in so I can create torque in the torse. I also let the shoulder internally rotate to when maintaining tension in the lateral rotators (not the lats).
    Faizal S. Enu, CFT/RKC/PBA
    My blog: [URL]http://faizalenu.blogspot.com[/URL]
    Workshop Schedule: [URL="http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops"]http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops[/URL]

  4. #4
    forth is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by faizalenu View Post
    I know at the bottom of the snatch, I let the torso rotate in so I can create torque in the torse. I also let the shoulder internally rotate to when maintaining tension in the lateral rotators (not the lats).
    This is interesting. I was taught to not do any rotation, and Dynami marks this as an error with the one hand swing. Is the snatch somehow different in this respect?

  5. #5
    vfb
    vfb is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by forth View Post
    This is interesting. I was taught to not do any rotation, and Dynami marks this as an error with the one hand swing. Is the snatch somehow different in this respect?
    Everything in Hardstyle builds off the swing; I'd stick with what you were taught.

    As for rotation, I believe it's more a matter of style. GS has a lot of stretch & rotation, Hardstyle/Dynami teach none. I don't think either is wrong, they're just different. Sounds like Faizal might be somewhere in the middle.

  6. #6
    Steve Freides is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by forth View Post
    This is interesting. I was taught to not do any rotation, and Dynami marks this as an error with the one hand swing. Is the snatch somehow different in this respect?
    You are correct in following Dynami. The style we teach is about generating maximum stability in our bodies as a platform from which to launch maximum explosiveness in the swing and the snatch. If you were after maximum reps for a given weight, which by definition means the weight is quite far from a 1RM effort, you'd focus on efficiency instead, as people who train Girevoy Sport do, in which case rotation could be a part of what you do.

    -S-
    Flexibility Guide

  7. #7
    forth is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFreides View Post
    You are correct in following Dynami. The style we teach is about generating maximum stability in our bodies as a platform from which to launch maximum explosiveness in the swing and the snatch. If you were after maximum reps for a given weight, which by definition means the weight is quite far from a 1RM effort, you'd focus on efficiency instead, as people who train Girevoy Sport do, in which case rotation could be a part of what you do.

    -S-
    Flexibility Guide
    That's quite interesting. Thinking about the rotation it seems it would give some potential extra stretch-shortening effect which could quite possible preserve energy and making life easier on the hammies and glutes.. would be a very good indeed in GS I can imagine.

  8. #8
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks a lot for all the responses. I can see there are stylistic differences and differences based on the weight of the kb. I would not try what I described with my 70 lb bell, probably not even with the 53 lb one yet, but it feels fairly safe with the 35 lb bell.

    One more question about bells: would I be better off buying ETK first and then working with an RKC after finishing it, or is getting with an RKC first the better way to go? I live about 30 miles from the nearest RKC that I know of, KC Reiter, so it's a bit of a time and travel commitment.

  9. #9
    Steve Freides is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by forth View Post
    That's quite interesting. Thinking about the rotation it seems it would give some potential extra stretch-shortening effect which could quite possible preserve energy and making life easier on the hammies and glutes.. would be a very good indeed in GS I can imagine.
    That's right, but making life easier on the hammies and glutes isn't what we're after - if we wanted that, we'd sit in a chair all day. We're trying to achieve maximum results in minimum time spent, results meaning training effect, increased strength, etc. This is in many ways the opposite of trying to exercise efficiently - we are purposefully inefficient. GS is another matter entirely - in the RKC, we believe that one must first understand maximum tension, maximum strength, and maximum explosiveness. Only then can one start to dial in the appropriate level of tension for a particular activity, e.g., GS. One must have strength first in order to endure it in a strength/endurance sport like GS.

    -S-
    Steve Freides, RKC-TL

  10. #10
    faizalenu is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by forth View Post
    This is interesting. I was taught to not do any rotation, and Dynami marks this as an error with the one hand swing. Is the snatch somehow different in this respect?
    Take a picture at the bottom of your swing or snatch, If the bell is in teh center of your stance, there has to be some rotation.
    Faizal S. Enu, CFT/RKC/PBA
    My blog: [URL]http://faizalenu.blogspot.com[/URL]
    Workshop Schedule: [URL="http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops"]http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops[/URL]

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