CrossFit Elements Part II – Snatch, Clean

On Friday, Kara and I went to our next Elements Class at the CrossFit in Los Gatos.  Kara was totally tough — she was pretty sick last week, but didn’t want to lose the class due to cancellation, so she showed up!  I was very happy to see her.

We learned the snatch and the clean.  Of course that makes me giggle, but after 10 minutes or so, I got over it.  😉  OK, maybe 30 minutes.

First, the snatch.  This is a really complicated lift, with several distinct movements.  However, I’ve usually found that practicing entire movements makes them easier to commit to muscle-memory.  Maybe that’s just me.  In class, we went over each step of the move, and I think most people find this really confusing.  It’s hard to think specifically about what your hips, and knees, and shoulders, and elbows are doing all at once.  I do think it’s necessary to go over it, though.  Because once you’ve got the idea of the entire movement, you can refine your form by going back and thinking about each step. I guess the important thing is to do low weight while you’re learning, so you don’t get hurt.  This video does a great job of explaining the details of the lift, and it shows you the front and side views in suuuuuuper slowwwww motionnnn.  Also, it’s a girl, and I like that.  She’s strong, and I am inspired!

Next we learned the clean, which to me seems basically like the snatch, except that your hands are closer together on the bar, and you only bring the bar to your shoulders.  This video is similar to the other.  It shows the clean (the part that gets the bar to your shoulders) as well as the “jerk,” which we learned last week.

This is the “clean and jerk” you may have heard of (This also makes me giggle).  There is a difference in her “jerk” form.  She’s doing what I believe is called a “split jerk,” where she catches the bar while in a lunge position, instead of a squat like we did last week.  I think they taught us the squat way because it is less complicated (which leg forward?  one is bent, one is straight, etc.).  However, the split jerk looks a lot more stable to me.  When you are doing a jerk and lifting heavy weight above your head pretty explosively, there is a tendency to get thrown backward a little bit if you’re not perfectly balanced.  The lunge position would definitely prevent that from happening.  But it occurs to me now that maybe you wouldn’t be as stable side-to-side.  I wonder…  We’ll have to try adding some of these exercises to our normal circuits and see what works for us.

Anyway, until Leg Day…



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