Friday, June 20, 2008

Technique refinement, the never ending process and what is good technique?

Ok.  This is something that I find fascinating.  When I went to Moscow I talked about how the technique was "different"  then when I saw VF in San Diego I thought that understood what I thought good technique was.  I was wrong.  

Looking at VF during his competitive days I saw a similarity to the Moscow competitors that I didn't see in the current VF so I asked "Whats going on?"  

As we train ourselves we develop our muscles to being sharper at the activity.  For Example, the Jerk tends to have a sharper movement with a competitive athlete(who trains professionally) then someone who trains for fitness or for cross training.  They simply have more refinement due to higher levels of training.  

I remember one of the certs, VF said the last time he did a set was the cert prior.  That said his leg muscles though strong are not what his competition legs were in terms of quality of muscle.  Therefore his dip in the jerk would be shorter when he was professional.  His legs were stronger.  

Take a look at this competitive video

Now look at a video here

Both techniques are correct but one looks sharper then the other.  More refined.  That is simply a training effect.  I'm stronger therefore need less ROM to initiate the same amount of power for jerk.  

When I understood what aspects of technique were important I realized what was correct and what wasn't.   

Sometimes something that looks different does not mean that it is wrong.  In this case, it simply means the athlete's muscles are more honed to perform the Jerk.  It is a crisper or sharper looking movement if you will.  

- Proper alignment, proper kettlebell position for safety on the wrist etc 
-  Where the hand resides in the kettlebells.  
- What constitutes a good rep where safety is equally important as performance
- What the main points are assistance exercises are for, ie swings, Jerks etc.  

In the beginning it can be overwhelming to learn all these points but the beginners are at an advantage.  I've seen this in the hundreds of people I have helped certify and in myself.  

It is better to learn it right the first time then to change something.  When you work with professional weights(32kg) already it becomes much harder to improve your technique.  That is why beginners have the advantage. 

In this video of Lauri you have beginners and some others who do decent.  

In 2 months their technique will be much improved just based on what I see with Lauri's technique in this video.  

Lauri had technique issues to work on before but based on this snatch video she has improved to the point where the things that need work are minuscule and while little details make a big difference, she is mostly done with her technique here. 

 I don't expect overnight experts.   

 That is why we train.  We learn through repetition and coaching hence the title "the never ending process" of learning.  Lauri is continuing to learn and already has done well with technique improvement.  

I have many witnesses that can vouch that it took me about a year to improve my snatch technique to the point where I felt confident about it.   I had to relearn what I was doing and it had been frustrating because I had already worked myself to a certain level.  

And while hard work is good, hard work with the best technique is better and 1200+ hours in the gym helped me to understand that.   Its why I got stuck at 80 snatches but I'm good now for over 100.  And soon when I get better the numbers will go up significantly.   



ericc said...

Marty, this is truly an excellent post that strikes me perfectly today as I begin serious training with the 28kgs. Thanks for writing and posting this and I hope hope you share it outside this blog as an explaination for what others have seen.


Anonymous said...


I was waiting for someone to "man-up" and defend Lauri. Sorry, not me-too much of a chicken to post on IGx in fear of getting verbally decapitated!

Lauri's snatch technique has improved dramatically since the last time I saw it. Again, time in/under the bells and having an "expert" like yourself make corrections is key.


Kettlebelllifter said...


I did as you requested though I'm sure you've seen it by now. Glad you got something from this. I have to get back into training myself.


Scott Shetler said...

Com. Marty,

Stop making sense. I've decided rather than pursue the best possible, most efficient, safest technique in powerlifting I will make it less efficient thus my improvement will skyrocket! ScottStyle Com. Marty!

Nice blog by the way!

Howie Brewer said...

Hi Marty, thanks for reinforcing the need for constant refinement and the need for relearning. Can you give us newbies more on your background, how you began with kb's and how your development progressed to get you where you are today? And 1,000 swings? Unbelievable! Thanks, Howie