Why Does My Snatch Suck? Part 3?

snatch Why Does My Snatch Suck? Fixing the Set Up and First Pull: Part 3
In the last series we went over common areas that may be holding us back from getting into a good set-up position for the snatch and being efficient in the first pull.
If you missed the first 2 articles and aren’t caught up on what good snatch technique consists of or what can be holding us back from getting into the right positions then I’d recommend going back and reading from the start:

Now let’s get down to business!
1) Is my treatment effective? Test and Re-test
One vital part of physical therapy is a baseline assessment of someone’s pain, motion and movement.  The next step is applying some sort of treatment whether that be a stretch, mobilization or other exercise.  Afterward the initial movement, motion or pain should be re-assessed.  If the treatment was beneficial, it’s a treatment that should be used in the future.  If it wasn’t effective, then it isn’t going to be an effective treatment and probably can be thrown away.  This is commonly referred to testing and re-testing.  It’s how we’ll figure out which exercises will be most beneficial for you.  It’s also how we’ll become more efficient with our exercise selection.
2) Re-grooving the motor pattern
The ultimate goal of this program is to improve your snatch technique.  After each stretching session you should practice a few sets of snatching with a PVC or dowel to try and incorporate your new flexibility into better snatch technique.  This helps the flexibility you just created to become permanent.
Onto the good stuff!
Mobilizing the hip capsule and deep posterior hip musculature
Key Points:
  • Think about your biomechanics throughout the stretch.  We don’t want to end up in a compensated position because we’re rushing the stretch.
  • Sink deeper into the stretch when you exhale.  Take long slow breaths.
  • If you want to make the stretch more effective your can press your knee slightly into the floor while you inhale and relax when you exhale.
  • Spend 3-5 minutes working on each hip
Did your position improve?  If so we’ll rule in some hip capsule and muscular tightness and we’ll add some of these mobilizations into your program.  If not, we can look elsewhere.
Mobilizing the Hamstrings and Nervous System
Key points:
  • We’ll be mobilizing our nervous system via techniques known as “flossing”, “gliding” or “sliding”.  We’re basically mobilizing the nerve without ever fully stretching that nerve.  These should not be painful. (1)
  • We’ll be using some common PNF stretching techniques to promote flexibility in the hamstrings
  • We’ll be alternating between these two techniques
  • Think about your biomechanics throughout the stretch.  We don’t want to end up in a compensated position because we’re rushing the stretch.
  • Sink deeper into the stretch when you exhale.  Take long slow breaths.
  • If you want to make the stretch more effective your can press your heel slightly into the floor while you inhale and relax when you exhale.
  • Spend about 5 minutes working each side
  • Remember to test and re-test with the dowel as shown in the video
If this progression helped improve your position, we’ll keep it in our program.  If not, we’ll look elsewhere.
Mike Jones knows all about neural tension
Mobilizing the Hamstrings with Eccentrics
Key Points:
  • Research has shown that eccentrics can be as effective for increasing flexibility as static stretching by helping to add additional sarcomeres to the muscle (2)
  • We’ll be trying to mimic the same parameters used in the research study (2)
  • Research shows benefits after approximately 6 weeks of eccentrics (2)
  • Eccentrics should be performed 2-3 times per week for 1-2 sets
  • Emphasis should be on slowly lowering the weight over a 5 second count
  • Weights used varied from study to study.  Use approximately 50% to 75% of your max snatch.
Unfortunately, results are not as immediate with this form of mobilization.  Definitely re-test your flexibility at the end of 6 weeks though.
Hopefully, you were able to get some immediate benefit from these exercises.  Remember, if one of these techniques is not getting you any results, then it isn’t going to be the best exercise for you!  We’ll know what works by test-retesting.
Next week we’ll go over how to address stability problems and then work on perfecting your snatch technique.
I’ve been holding a split the entire time writing this,
Contributed by Dr. Dan Pope, DPT
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References:
  1. Butler, D. (2000). The sensitive nervous system. Adelaide City West, South Australia 5000: Noi Group Publications.
  2. OSullivan, K., McAuliffe, S., & DeBurca, N. (2012). The effects of eccentric training on lower limb flexibility: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine46, 838-845.

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