Day 2 of Sandbox Athletics Weightlifting Camp down.  Today was a much more involved and active workday than Day 1.  Coach Newton, Nielsen, and Lane spent the last 2.5 hours drilling away at positions and foot position in the snatch.  Eric and I learned more about what your feet are supposed to be doing in the Snatch than I knew your feet could do in the snatch.  Incredible stuff.  Seriously, your feet matter if you are going to be good at the snatch.
However, the great moment of the day and probably of the camp so far came during our snatch work today.  Below is a video of Z and Eric working the snatch from blocks.  Z, a stud young lifter, is working the transition from the top of the knee to the hip.  The reason he is doing this is because, as we emphasized today, the transition from the first pull into the second should be one of violence and bar positioning on the hips.  Z is working that transition and as you can see is really focusing on getting his knees under the bar and the bar on the hips at the right time.
In the background is Eric snatching from BELOW the kneecap.  Coach Newton forced Eric and I to snatch from this position because it is a position of weakness for both of us.  This position forces us to overload our hamstrings while still maintaining a tight, strong back.  This position, most importantly, forces us to focus on getting the bar to the hips and moving vertically with it.  Watch Eric’s third rep in the video.  I wish I had kept the camera rolling, his face and reaction was priceless.  For one of the first times in the 3 years that Eric and I have been training together, the bar hit his hips and exploded vertically.  Like the bar dramatically changed speeds.  Watch the bar just take off when it gets to his hips.  You can hear the change in bar speed when he reaches maximum bar speed at his hips.  The weights jingle like a bag full of pennies.
Z and Eric Snatch Work
What Coach Harvey noticed and was able to work with Eric was both his positioning for power at his hips AND where his shoulders and bar moved AFTER the bar leaves the hips.  Notice on that third rep especially, Eric’s elbows move vertically in manner that pushes them high and outside.  One of Eric’s biggest challenges is to want to rotate his torso back away from the bar in an over-exaggerated layback position and swing the bar over his head.  This changes the trajectory of the bar completely and moves the bar around him rather than him moving under the bar.  Notice in this video, Eric does a pull then a snatch from the hip position to work his elbows high and outside and force the bar to move vertically from the hips.  Watch for the position of his elbows in both movements and where his torso stays for the lifts.
Eric Pull + Snatch from Hip
Basically, when the bar leaves the floor it has a specific bar path it must follow and specific positions it needs to hit along your body as it moves over your head.  One of those positions is the power position at the hip.  Feet flat, shins forward, weight on the middle of the foot, and shoulders even with the bar.  Then from this position, the bar must move up your body and vertical like it does with Eric in these videos.  That vertical speed and bar trajectory is key to made lifts.  Last video here is a good mobility drill for working the internal shoulder rotation needed for high elbows.  Just a little bonus fun work…
High Elbow Mobility Drill
Oh and on a sidenote if you walk into a “authentic sushi restaurant” and nobody in the restaurant is actually from Southeast Asia, walk out.  They may in fact make you wait an hour before telling you they don’t have any rice to make your sushi rolls.  It took you an hour to figure  out that you’re out of rice?  Really?  And you’re out of the one thing most necessary for sushi?  That’s like Chick-Fil-A being out of chicken.  Don’t worry, we found another spot and the sushi chef was actually from Japan.  Weird I know…