I tried this tonight upon returning from Hotel Purgatory. Subtle, but noticeable improvement. I'm going to try to groove it with single-arm swings as well as with heavier snatches than my 20s. I also appreciate Brandon Hetzler's input as it reminds me to examine myself to see if I'm "fixing" one problem that's really a manifestation of another. "Goin' around your a#@ to get to your elbow", as one of my infantry buddies says.
I think the bells "feel narrower" when leading with the thumbs on doubles.
I tried this yesterday and it was a very noticable improvement especially with my right shoulder. I just did swings with the 24 and 32, haven't tried snatches yet. I plan on using this for a while and see how it works out over time. Thanks Geoff.
Tried this a.m. and MUCH easier catch on the drop. I often get a funny nerve twinge in one wrist when form goes a tiny bit off. None of that at all today and higher RPM was easy. Thanks for posting this. I have experimented in the past and was quite leery of the arm-bar issue. Somehow never considered "splitting the difference"
Literally just used this in my high rep snatch workout (after trying out with a few warmup reps) and it felt much better. It seems that without having to "wind" the shoulder, the back swing felt much faster and without "unwinding", it popped up much easier. I even had to tone down the hip drive a bit so that I wasn't catching the bell at the top instead of punching through. I also felt, for the very first time, that I was able to maintain the bell in the hook of my fingers. I can't quite figure out how to incorporate the drop and catch or even sucking in my arm using the lat, but that's secondary right now since the whole goal was to save my hands and they feel perfect. Just awesome!
It's not a massive shift Wade, I'd want to be getting a few sessions in before I did it, and based on the idea that you will probably be ready for the cert two weeks out it might not hurt, I wouldn't do it for the hell of it though.
I’m taking the cert in Houston in two weeks as well. I’ve tried this method and it does seem to help with making the bell lighter. My only advice however being this close to the cert is to get where you can do 100 snatches in 5 minutes comfortably. Worrying too much about how you are doing them grip-wise can throw you off and mess you up on just one rep. That being said, I would like to go with this new method as it seems to also help with not ripping up my hands on the decent, however I might need to stick with the "normal" method of thumb up at the end.
Huge thanks to Geoff Neupert for this tip and for posting about it timely after the discussions at the StrongFirst meeting last weekend.
Totally agree that for the upcoming cert snatch test, need to stick to the way we are used to. No sense throwing a wrench into the machine at this point. I was pretty excited when I read about it from Geoff and tried it, but afterwards realize it's something to play with after I'm a SFG
Karen, a case study for this technique would be cool, I agree.
Remember what she said about individual differences. do not get caught up in right vs wrong BUT RATHER THINK OF Good vs better.
I use this matter the very loose rotating power conserving GS style, even shifting my weight from foot to foot. When I stopped competing and our standards evolved I adopted a more power production style.
Remember the good technique is defined as being by mechanically correct the individual structure and a statically pleasing to the observer.
I tried it myself with a light bell -12kg. Didn't like it very much. Not sure how it will work with most. I had a few clients(men and women) try it as well. They didn't like it either. Curious to see what comes of this... Is this a structural thing I am wondering... Interested in learning more and specifically interested in case study results....
Geoff's DVD, Kettlebell Strong, makes a point to cover this topic, and does so IMO. I've been doing a ton of doubles work lately and this (as well as KB Strong in general) has helped greatly. Lats are noticeably more engaged, cleans/swings/snatches all more fluid with more tamed arcs, better back swings, etc. Anyways, the video would likely clear up the confusion regarding this. Just my .02.
My apologies for not getting a video out yet. Working on it.
In the meantime, let me just offer you some history about this technique:
When I went to my RKC in 2005 all the lifts were done with the palm fully pronated - "barbell grip" - so not thumb back and no internal rotation.
I've always had a problem with my left shoulder as a result of breaking my left arm. As a result, my arm is bowed and I don't have full elbow extension. The "barbell grip" was ok, although sometimes it would tweak the shoulder. When we went to the thumb down position, my left shoulder really didn't like the snatch. I would just train through it.
It wasn't until about a year or year-and-half ago that I saw some GS guys doing this - although they were using a full pistol grip - and I thought I'd give it a try - modifying it to that 45 degree thumb up position because I was wary of creating an armbar situation.
And you know what?
It felt awful.
The backswing was especially unwieldy. I felt like I was going to lose the bell underneath me. My timing felt off. The bell got to lockout before I was ready for it. And I didn't like it - any of it.
But my shoulder did.
And interestingly enough, so did my hips.
So I started playing with it more and more and more. Forcing myself to like it. And accept the awkwardness in the backswing.
It didn't take too long for me to notice that weights that once felt heavy now felt light. And the backswing felt normal - natural.
Sure, there may have been some other factors involved in the whole process, but in showing these technique nuances to my private clients and to my seminar attendees, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. (Thanks Mike for your feedback about "Kettlebell STRONG!" - appreciate it.)
All that to say: You don't have to use this. If you like what you're doing and the results you're getting - cool.
If you want to play around and experiment, do what I did - reserve your judgment for a little while and see how it plays out.
If after playing with it, you don't notice any changes, abandon it. No big deal. Bu for me it's been a game changer.
Thanks for that explanation. I, too have had left shoulder and right hip issues when I clean and snatch. I tried your suggestion yesterday and it felt awkward. I resigned myself to just doing swings, goblet squats, and TGU's for the rest of my life (not a bad idea, BTW) but I will now very carefully give the "thumbs 45 degree up" position with a light bell and see how it works.
As I said, the worst thing that happens is I go back to the PM.
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