Apr
21

Eliminate Pelvic Pain while Snatching

By

JCG27998With all due respect the the makers of padded compression shorts designed to protect pubic bone from the impact of the bar on a snatch, you seriously don’t need them. I have nothing against the makers of this product, it seems like it is well constructed and has certainly proved to be a decent business for the creators of these pants.

If you’re not familiar with this item, let me first share with you an email/comment I get fairly often.

Hey coach, I have a serious problem, whenever I snatch I end up with a bruise right above the family jewels. Please help me, I don’t want to lose them.”

Or sometimes they are a little more reserved,

Hey coach, would you recommend someway for me to not end up with severe pain right above a very important area?”

Let’s first say this, snatching should not be painful. If you have shoulder pain, you should fix it, if you have back pain, you should fix it, before snatching again. If you have pain in your pubic bone and bruising around it, you should fix that too.

The Problem

This is not just an inevitable part of snatching, the bar does not need to make aggressive contact with your pubic bone to the point of discomfort. Your issue if you are running into this problem is that you are likely leaving the bar away from the body for too long as you transition from first to second pull. This “hanging” bar will move back into the body, make hard contact and cause the pain and bruising we are talking about.

Some coaches even talk about the “banging” sound that the bar makes as you complete a violent extension. While there is an audible sound, it is not due to the contact of body and bar, instead it is due to the inner workings of the bar itself. The sound you are hearing is the sleeve of the bar compressing onto the shaft of the bar, this occurs because of the change in speed around the hip, as the bar goes from fast to faster!

The Solution

We want to create a “brush” point and not a contact point. Think about that for a second, in all weightlifting literature you have read and conversations you have had people refer to a brush point. Now think about a brush, do you take a hairbrush and bash it against your head to get your hair in place?

Oh you don’t? Good, now you get the point. Don’t bash the bar against your pubic bone to get the bar overhead.

To fix this you need to start with your first pull, we must pull back on the bar and move the bar closer to your center of mass. We often talk about a long first pull that ends when the bar is making contact with your thigh just about an inch above the knee. The second pull commences with you pulling the bar up your thigh the rest of the way so that you can create that smooth brush point and not the harsh contact point.

Here is a video talking about how to make this happen.

Conclusion

Save your money and don’t buy the specialized padded pants, fix your snatch technique and you won’t need them! Commit to a long first pull, and feel the bar make low and LONG contact along the thigh.

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  • Sam Gibbons

    Awesome stuff, have you had much experience reintroducing guys back to snatching after pec major surgery? I’m 6 weeks post op

    Also I’m doing your t nation 3 weeks of only lifts for hypertrophy what’s you reccomended split for the week as mon/weds/fri/sat means hitting front squats and back squats for 5’s back to back fri/sat

    Cheers