Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Individual Coaching Session: Snatch Progression

Since I started CrossFit 8 months ago (wow! 8 months?) I had not taken advantage of my individual coaching sessions that come with my membership, until today.

I scheduled my session with Dan, the owner of the box, and the first coach that I ever met at CrossFit Woodbridge. I chose him for the specific reason that I see him working with the newest members of the box on a daily basis, and I felt comfortable with his demeanor, since I would be coming from a definite beginner's perspective on whatever I chose to work on. I gave the one-on-one session a good amount of thought and decided I would work on a move that really stymies me in WODs and on lifting days--the snatch. When he first greeted me, he questioned me in a joking way, thinking I hadn't given the session a lot of thought but in fact, I had--possibly too much! I was a bit nervous, but once we settled in to work, it was all business and burning quads!

The snatch is, put simply, moving the weight on the barbell from the floor to overhead in one movement. Between here and there however, is a series of very technical movements that are not easy to do. Flinging the weight overhead is not the goal, not to mention the fact that it's dangerous to do this lift heavy without knowing the proper technique. The progressions we were doing in class just weren't enough to get this to click for me. 

Today's session started with me warming up with the class, then beginning with what I thought was a snatch but, as I understand now, was far from it. 

We worked on the minutia of the move, the hardest part of which was moving the bar the first few inches off of the floor. As Dan said, "Betchya weren't expecting to spend 40 minutes deadlifting a PVC pipe, were you?" NO...no, I wasn't. I burned an enormous amount of calories standing in that squat position trying to figure out what it meant to move the bar using my hips, knees, and arms up from the floor into the "pocket" position and keep it all together in my mind. I was sweating profusely, my quads were burning, and I was concentrating on every inch of the bar's movement...and it was a PVC pipe! 

We finally added light weight to a bar and worked on form only--getting the extension of the hips and the snatch overhead. Near the end of the hour it was wonderful to hear him say, "Now you're snatching--not flinging." 

Three things to remember when snatching:

1. Sweep the bar past the knees 
2. Hips and knees move at the same time
3. Once in the pocket, open up and keep the arms straight

I love this video of Chad Vaughn (Olympic lifter) executing the snatch in super-slow-motion. I have always appreciated the technical difficulty in the move, but now I have a slightly more trained eye and can see exactly the things Dan was telling me today in the move. If you have neglected your one-on-one session, definitely take advantage of it...oh, and enjoy the video.

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