Friday, November 6, 2009

Maximum Pull - John Davis

The Two Arm Snatch
by John Davis (1945)
Assistant – Roman V. Goires

The snatch requires more technical attention than the press. Consequently more work is needed to bring out the fullest and best results. In the snatch we have men who use wide grips, narrow grips. Men who split low by stepping far to the rear and moving the front foot a few inches. Others who split to the rear and get to the lowest possible position by nearly squatting on the front leg.

The style in which you lift must be performed until a high degree of skill is developed. Unlike the press, speed and balance are of supreme importance.

As far as strength is concerned, 50% of your best snatch is an ideal training poundage. Employing 20-50 total repetitions, a high degree of explosive physical power can be developed.

The style or type of lift to be used is quite a problem when one considers the fact that the dead hang snatch is a conventional plus an established training lift for the competitive snatch. I have always leaned towards the “Swedish Hang” snatch because of the shock it has upon the lower back region.

The Swedish Hang is done in the following manner: Approach the bar, grasp with regular snatch grip and make lift in usual style. On letting the bar down do not stop as in the dead hang, but continue on down until nearly touching the floor. You then start your upward pull. This may also be performed by letting the bar down as far as the knees, developing speed as well as second pull, primarily second pull.

It may be unwise to use a very heavy weight when first using this type of lifting in your training. Take care, and progressively add weight to the bar.

Splitting is performed wrong by about 70% of lifters I have viewed in action today. So many experienced men will pull their weights up beautifully and start the downward motion of the split, and almost always make the obvious mistake of swinging their hips forward. This is not only injurious to their backs but sometimes hurts their lower abdominals. Their only profits are aches, pains and lost lifts. The correct way is to send your hips straight down. Only constant practice will set you in this habit. Once you start to split the only part of your anatomy that should be moving is your legs.

Most of us are acquainted with the basic start prior to the poll, but not all of us know when to start lowering ourselves in preparation for the split. Most all the lifters start their lowering much too soon. Hardly any of the men I’ve seen lifting derive the fullest benefits from their upward pull. Lowering the body too soon before the highest point of pull is reached leaves the bar hanging in midair far in front of the deltoids and triceps, with no support and much out of control. This can be remedied by developing your downward movement until the highest point of pulling power is reached. You then step in far enough to bring the bar directly over the crown of the head. This can be helped by pulling the weight back at an angle and stepping well back with the rear foot. Some people will tell you to start the process of going under when the bar reaches the height of your eyes, others say shoulders, others might say anything. This is not so. Certainly a lifter can’t pull 200 as high as he could 180. Therefore, pull as high as your strength permits, then go under.

Some lifters make the mistake of placing one foot behind the other when splitting, resulting in a fall to one side. Have the feet slightly apart when they contact the floor. This will keep you upright and well balanced. The tibia or shinbone should be projecting outward and down, i.e., knee in front, ankles and rear leg extended comfortably back.

So many lifters fail to get the fullest benefit from their pull. Permit me. A few points of consideration of interest to all would serve well. There are, as I see it, three separate stages in the pull prior to the process of splitting.

First, as the pull is started its initial momentum originates in the upper thighs. Contrary to popular practice and beliefs, the arms are held loosely, almost relaxed, the only tension present is in the flexed forearms sustaining the weight of the bar as it starts upward. Activating the conventional position of flat back and arched position of the neck and head, the athlete maintains this position until his view is about even with that of his audience or horizontal to the floor. During this upward thrust between the start of the pull and the beginning of the second phase of the pull the arms become tense and pick up where the upper thighs start to slow up. Along with the arms the back comes into play, helping them to carry out the second stage. At this point the lifter’s view is above the heads of his audience and almost contacting the ceiling. Here the third stage moves in. The arms have started the second stage and had help in carrying thru the second stage. The arms also start and survived throughout the third stage with the strong assistance of the trapezius. The position at the finish of the third stage is: Fore-arms bent in toward pectorals at about 45 degree angle, and elbows high with definite dihedral from deltoid to elbow. Head is thrown back and view is now directly a the ceiling; the entire body is high on the toes, not unlike a ballerina. Once the stage of this pull is perfected, snatch efficiency should rise about 15-25%.

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