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Bar Path

By Sean | In Olympic Weightlifting | on November 10, 2010

One of the things Ruth posted on yesterday was learning the proper start and power positions for the snatch and clean and jerk at the USA Weightlifting cert. In simplistic terms we’ve explained the movements as a speedy deadlift to front squat or a wide-grip deadlift into an overhead squat, and that is not too far off for beginners. However, as we become more familiar and intimate with the movements we see that it’s not quite that easy. These lifts aren’t an Olympic sport for nothing, and people work on perfecting their lifts their entire lives.

For some of you in my morning classes we’ve talked about how the optimal bar path should look, as explained by Olympian and OlyAthlete.com founder Chad Vaughn above. I recently came across this video from Iron Maven that further reinforces the idea of the optimal bar path.

For those of you who came to the Nomad Weightlifting Classic the weekend before last, you may recognize Stacey, the first lifter in the video, from the meet!


WOD 11.10.10

Bench Press 3×5

AMRAP 9
4 Handstand Pushups
8 Box Jumps
4 Power Snatches

Cash Out: Pistol Skillwork

14 Comments to "Bar Path"

  • Jake says:

    November 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM -

    I have a question regarding the meet. I saw a couple lifters role the the bar to the shins then lift. How does the moving bar help with bar path? if any help that is.

  • Sean says:

    November 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM -

    Great question Jake. According to Coach Takano rolling the bar doesn’t serve a functional purpose and can actually cause the litter to waste precious energy unnecessarily. When addressing the bar he suggests using an approach similar to the way we set up for our deadlifts, where we set ourselves up without rolling the bar around. The main difference being the weight is mainly on the balls of our feet for the oly lifts as opposed to being on the heels like the deadlift.

  • Xuan says:

    November 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM -

    Marcus,
    I haven’t been in one of your classes in a while and I’m happy to say I plan on attending tonight. I need you to be on your game because I definately won’t be on mine.

    I wonder if I can expense to work the benefits I’ve lost from missing out on Crossfit time? If so, how do I assign a value to that? Just thinking out loud..I miss your mugs.

  • Holley says:

    November 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM -

    Stacy’s snatch looked so unbelievably easy and smooth. That’s a great video! I learn best by demonstration, so being able to watch real lifts like that, especially in slow motion, is very helpful for me. Great post!

    I have a question though, before most of them begin the lift, they drop very deep into a squat and as they come up they pick up the bar. Does this deep squat help them get into position and where exactly to they actually start lifting the bar? It’s kind of hard to tell when watching, but I noticed most of they oly lifters did that during the crossfit weight lifting competition too.

  • Anna says:

    November 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM -

    Wow Holley when I read the first sentence of your comment I thought I was reading a steamy romance novel…

  • Becky says:

    November 10, 2010 at 2:21 PM -

    HAHAHAAAA! ANNNA!!

  • melissa says:

    November 10, 2010 at 2:36 PM -

    anna i thought the exact same thing. whoever named that lift the snatch definitely had a sense of humor. 😉

    in other news, i hate box jumps. another day i’ll wish i was dead when the WOD’s over. sweet. :)

  • Viviana says:

    November 10, 2010 at 3:07 PM -

    Anna!!!! I’m dying over here!!!! Hahahahahahah!

  • Sean says:

    November 10, 2010 at 3:11 PM -

    Holley, the purpose of the lifters going the deep squat is to help them set their back. Many lifters are flexible enough to get in such a deep squat without difficulty. It may serve another purpose that I’m not aware of, but that was the response that Kelly Starrett gave. You can also set your back by straightening the legs a bit in your start position before returning to your pulling stance. Either way helps unload the hamstrings so you can brace properly with your low back in proper alignment.

  • Brian says:

    November 10, 2010 at 3:36 PM -

    Few things:

    1. The title is a blatant misrepresentation. I was fully expecting to find a new and exciting route to a favorite watering hole. After my initial disappointment, I did actually read the post and checked out the videos

    2. How awesome the post was doesn’t compare to the sweet back six pack sean is sporting in his picture icon

    3. Nothing gets Viv to come out of the woodwork like the talk of a “smooth snatch”. Good to hear from you girl.

  • Viviana says:

    November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM -

    Brian!!!! thats a good one!

  • Stephanie says:

    November 10, 2010 at 3:53 PM -

    Anna & Brian you guys are freakin’ hilarious!!

    1. ruth says:

      November 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM -

      And that’s the end of our site being wfs!

      @holley, I’ll follow up on that set-up question a little later tonight but it’s funny you should mention visual learning. Coach Takano said that the easiest athletes to coach are dancers because they learn by sight and mimicking!

  • Michael H says:

    November 10, 2010 at 4:50 PM -

    Love the dialogue in today’s post!

    So funny we were talking about acronyms yesterday. What’s wfs?

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