Why your Olympic Lifts are failing
Wrist angles –Soft lock out on the Jerk
Firstly, I want to take you through a quick physics exercise.
Imagine you have a lever attached to a pivot, much like a door handle. If you were to push down on the end of the door handle (A), the door handle would rotate with little effort from yourself. If you were to push down half way between the end of the door handle and the center of the pivot (B) you would have to apply much more force to turn the door handle. In physics we refer to this turning force as a moment. This is the concept whereby something is easier to turn if a force is applied a distance away from a pivot.
This concept also manifests itself within Olympic Lifting. Here, your wrist is the pivot, and the bar is the force applied.
If the bar is sitting close to the wrist joint, there is little moment or turning force on the wrist. (C)
If the bar is sitting in the fingertips, there is a much greater moment. (D)
This greater moment forces the wrist backwards causing pain and discomfort. The result of this pain and discomfort is a soft lockout of the elbows in the overhead portions of the lifts.
If you are struggling to lock your elbows out on Jerks and Snatches, have a look at your wrist positioning.
- Does the bar sit in your fingertips?
- Do you have sore wrists during lifting?
How to fix:
- The root of this problem in jerks often lies in the rack position of the clean. Ensure the bar is not sitting in the fingertips. Hold onto the bar with the entire hand when holding the front squat rack position. This will be sore at first, but it is a flexibility issue. If you concentrate on holding the bar with the entire hand, over time, it will become more comfortable – resulting in an improved lockout on the Jerks.
- In Snatch it is simply a case of working up from light weights, paying special attention to how the bar sits in the hand.
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The more you know.