For a lot of CrossFitters who get into Olympic weightlifting, the snatch becomes something you love and hate. It’s a learning curve that’s often so frustrating, but also equally rewarding when you seem to get things right. One of those “things” is bar contact with the hips; however, sometimes this specific technique becomes too much of a focus point for some with painful repercussions. Rather than a cause for force/speed production, it is more of a result of a fine-tuned second pull. Luckily, we have Olympic lifting guru and coach Bob Takano of Takano Athletics to clear things up.
[T]he sound is not a goal and the loudness of the sound does not necessarily reflect proper biomechanics of the movement.
The sound! Periodically I run into lifters who complain that they are getting too bruised up in the pubic area to continue to strike the bar with that region of the anatomy when performing a pull for the snatch or clean. What I’ve discovered about most of the athletes having this problem is that there are two areas in need of correction. One is the perception of the events taking place and the second is how to modify the performance to avoid this degree of discomfort.
This is another one of those instances where people are mistaking the symptom for the cause. It’s similar to the phenomenon of people donkey kicking in order to make more noise with their feet during the catch phase of the snatch or clean, mistakenly believing that the volume of the sound is an indicator of effective force generation.
Let’s take a look at the sound generation that happens when the state of the barbell is altered.
Even the best IWF approved Class A barbells have tolerances between the diameter of the bar sleeve and the center rims of the plates. As well as the plates might fit there is some tolerance. There is also some capacity for the plates to generate sound at the points where they contact each other even when collars are tightened. So barbells make sound whenever their state or direction is altered, be it when they leave the platform or change direction during the course of a lift. The thing that most don’t take into consideration is that the sound may be an indicator of that change, but that the sound is not a goal and the loudness of the sound does not necessarily reflect proper biomechanics of the movement.