Sunday, November 4, 2012

Snatch class with an Olympian

When Coach Pau announced on Facebook that Hidilyn Diaz and her coach, Coach Tony, were going to teach the snatch at the box, I was super excited to sign up. Hidilyn represented the Philippines in the 2012 London Olympics, and she competed in the 58-kg division. She holds the Philippine record in the snatch (96 kg) and in the clean and jerk (123 kg). Insane numbers.

Coach Tony began by explaining the difference between powerlifting and weightlifting, then he had us use the PVC pipes to get us familiar with the movement. What helped was how he broke down the movement for us. First, he had us do the movement standing up (stand on tiptoe and shrug at the same time). Then, he had us bend our legs a little before doing the tiptoe movement. After that, he had us start lower and lower until the pipes were at our feet, and we started the movement from that position. When all that was over, he had us use bars (I used a 25 lb bar)

Some of the most important things I learned:

  • Feet should be shoulder-width but you must push your knees out when you squat to hold the bar.
  • Hook grip!
  • Elbows must be at a 90-degree angle when you pull the bar up your chest.
  • Butt down, straight back, shoulder a little forward at the starting position (so you won't lose your balance when you lift the bar up).
  • Don't pull until your hips are fully extended.
The last point is the one I have most trouble with. Hidilyn said that my form would be fine, except I kept missing the "target". Ah, another thing to add to my list of things to work on!

After the snatch drills, we worked on the clean and jerk, which employs essentially the same principles as the snatch. For yesterday, we practiced the split jerk. It was all about technique so I went light. The class was supposed to be from 4 to 6 pm only, but it was almost 7:30 when we finished.

Overall, it was a great session and I can't wait to practice what I've learned.

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