Snatch Up these Grip Tips

Grip training used to be the territory of only strongmen and the Sorin family, but no more! To really excel at the Olympic lifts or even as an athlete a strong grip is a vital part of the equation. I am no grip expert, but have learned a ton from a guy that I asked to help us on this issue. 

Today I asked Adam T. Glass (of Industrial Strength Grip and The Movement Minneapolis) to give us some awesome tips on how to improve your grip for the Olympic lifts. Adam is an amazing grip athlete and a seriously strong dude (Check out his youtube channel), but here is proof that we can learn some stuff from Adam. This is an amazing 550 lb deadlift on a 3 inch diameter bar.


RIDICULOUS!

Expand your toolbox: Snatch Variations

Sometimes you just love something and cannot get enough of it. Maybe it’s your dog, I’m sure he is all that. Maybe it’s cookies, who am I to judge? Maybe it’s Lifetime movies of the week, seriously I am not judging. In my life that “something” is the snatch. I love doing the lift, I love coaching the lift, and I love trying all the versions of the lift that I can think of. The snatch is numero uno in my book.

Before we dive into all the variations lets talk about the basics.


The 10 (+1) Best Strength Training Books

I absolutely love it when coaches share the books that have made them who they are today. Whether on facebook or through a blog post, it always gives a good glimpse as to who that coach is, and it ALWAYS gives me some awesome reading material to check out. Some of these books are those that sparked my interest in the field, some have changed everything I do, and some have really taken my coaching to the next level.

This list is absolutely a glimpse of me as a coach (I hope one that sheds a positive light on my thinking, I mean I did leave off the Berenstein Bears.)

Power Clean 2.0

*(NOTE: In an effort to provide the highest quality information, this post was updated on May 13th, 2013. I have learned a lot in the last 11 months and found it necessary to update this post to reflect my current understanding of how to power clean correctly. 

On some points my thinking changed just slightly, but enough that it should be noted, and in other cases I was dead wrong. The good thing is that in my application of some of these new concepts and ideas my lifts have never been better.)

Training for power is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of becoming a better athlete. Athletes that want to get faster, get stronger, and get bigger need to train to improve their power. Fortunately many programs include the power clean for just that purpose.  Unfortunately though, a lot of people do it incorrectly, get injured, or don’t get any good at the lift and don’t get to reap the benefits.

So whether you are an athlete or a coach of an athlete this post is for you. I have taken everything that I know about the power clean and put it to paper (or cyberspace) for your enjoyment and education.

This is a step by step guide to help your athletes get better, stop missing lifts, and see all the benefits of one of my favorite lifts.  Before I get to all the technical stuff, why should athletes do the power clean in the first place?

Muscle Snatch: Revisiting an Old Nemesis

For longer than I can remember the muscle snatch was a movement that I did within the context of a warm-up and in complexes.  Exclusively.

To be honest I didn’t have a good relationship with the muscle snatch.  We were not friends. It was a tool that I used to warm-up, before I felt that my neuromuscular system was ready to pull some big weights fast.  Once I felt primed and ready, regular snatching would commence and life would be good again.

Recently however thanks to my good friend Coach Dos,  the muscle snatch has become a friend that shares the same goals as me, and my athletes. I have found that the muscle snatch is a great tool to develop technique, strength, and power.

Two Lifts You Could be Doing Right Now to Help Your Olympic Lifts

One of the biggest debates regarding the Olympic lifts in training for athletes is the skill involved in Olympic lifting.  There is definitely skill involved but the carryover to the playing field/court is so immense that improving this skill is a must.

Sometimes just repeating the clean and jerk and snatch over and over is just not going to be enough, you must include some accessory lifts that can truly improve the skill required to complete the actual movements.

The two following movements are excellent at improving skill but also at building strength and explosiveness. These are not time wasters, they will immediately improve skill and power, and if you ask me that is a winning combination.

I like these two movements because they tell you where you have weaknesses right away. They require execution, strength and power to complete.

The Top 10 Movements to Build Explosive Power for Athletes

At the intersection strength and speed lies explosive power. In terms of athletics it is an absolute game changer.  For this reason I have chosen to prioritize making my athletes more explosive over anything else.  To do that, I use a number of tools. Here are my top 10.

 

1. Hang Snatch

The snatch wins my contest for the number 1 explosive movement because it is a pure hip hinge pattern and a long impulse of power is needed to make the movement complete. I chose the hang snatch because the position on the ground in a power snatch can limit some athletes ability to perform the exercise.

Snatching in any form is a great indicator of coming performance.  Athletes that are prepared for an upcoming contest will see their snatch hit all time highs before competition. A particularly useful hang snatch is the hip snatch. This movement is all about finishing the 2nd pull aggressively and punching under the bar.

Where to Start? Starting Positions in Hang Olympic Lifts

Recently I posted a link on my facebook page to this video from a Mike Boyle staff training in which he is discussing the starting position for the hang clean.

This is a valuable video because coach Boyle makes points about the quality of the lift being easily assessed through the aesthetics of the lift.  This is something that is very important to learn. The Olympic lifts no matter the weight should always look good, if the looks of the lift are wrong then there is likely too much weight on the bar.

 

Coach Boyle’s discussion of the position themselves led  to several posts on my facebook wall regarding what is the best place to start the lifts when in the hang position.  We all know how it should “Look” when you finish an Olympic lift pull, but  there are a ton of variations to the start position so, I thought it might be valuable to talk about those variations.

Nice Extension