Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good things come to those who wait.

Sometimes. We'll see for sure tomorrow and Friday but it looks like I might have figured out a way I can swing two handed. As well as the key to my swing and snatch technique.
As anyone who reads this blog, or who knows me, I am hooked up backwards on many things and techniques that work for most don't work for me and vice versa.

I spent YEARS trying to adopt "textbook" squat form and all it did was mess me up. I squatted 573 in competition and missed 601 with this textbook form but I now know had I listened to my instincts and gone with my 'backwards' form I would have gotten 600 plus and more. nd may not have tweaked my body so much. I listened to my instinct with my deadlift as it was the only way I could pull anything that resembled weight.

There are basically two types of body types: squatters and deadlifters. Or those with longer spines, shorter legs( and usually arms) and a low center of gravity and those with short spines, longer legs and longer arms( usually). The long spine people love to squat as they have very good leverage and can use their hips and legs together. They have to sit "back" like sitting in a chair to engage their hips but they must be careful about leaning over as their long spine doesnt like to round at all.Their low center of mass makes them solid as they squat deeper as well.

The deadlifters tend to want to bend over to squat, or deadlift or swing.It looks like they are going to kill their back but actually by bending over they engage their hips more. Look at the pictures of the great deadlifters like Jon Kuc, Lamar Gant, Vince Anello, etc. Or the great squatters like Mike Bridges, Rickey Crain and so forth.Polar opposite bodies.
Most great squatters who can deadlift for beans use the sumo style where they can put their leverage and strong hips and legs into the lift.

I am a short guy but have a short spine, longer legs and very long arms for my height. I am ,as Louie Simmons told me, to my great astonishment, " built to deadlift." So of course I tried to mimic the squat form of a squatters body. Not good.

Add in a "unique" lumbo-pelvic rythym ( what happens to your hips when you lean forward) and my hips only fire if I lean forward first. If I sit back I get my quads in there but no hips and my back is out of position. My squat was all quad and abs strength and now I know why it never felt good. I was never in the right position.

This applies to my swings as well and the more I've tried to sit back and really get my hips into the less they have activated and sent more stress into my shoulders.

I have been experimenting with tweaking my clients swing and snatch form according to this formula and it's been working like a CHARM! those long spine people have to sit back to get the kb behind them more to swing higher or harder and stay on their heels and those short spine people have to let themselves bend over more with their hips higher and the weight FLAT on the foot.
So today I tried it with the two handed swing and it felt GREAT! Way powerful and fluid.I was swinging the 24 kg to head height with ease and NO shoulder stress in the bottom position which has been iffy lately!
Whether my back likes it is another story but this form holds true for my one arms, snatches and transfers as well.

The irony is that it looks like a GS swing,lol. Of course I am breathing biomechanically not anatomically and rooting thoughout hard style but its funny to me.

Also found out that the pronator teres in my right forearm ( damn flexors!!) was causing much of my shoulder impingement.

Two hand swings

53x10x10 sets 30 sec rest/sets 100 reps 5300 lbs
62x8x5 sets 45 sec rest/sets 40 reps 2480 lbs

140 reps 7780 lbs

One arm swings
36x10/10 ( same technique)
44x10/10x5 sets

Rack walks 20 kg
200 feet per arm 200 foot laps
1400 feet total

wow, this was harder than expected. the swings got my legs good!

RIFGA 15 minutes, hanstring emphasis, shoulder feels best it has in days.

Bw 162
BF 8.8%
water 60.8%

datsit, staying loose. we'll see how I feel tomorrow


Royce said...

Hey Rif, how heavy are you going to go on the 2 hand swing do you think.

Maybe you have solved your SQ/DL type movement huh, thats really awesome.

Mark Reifkind said...

royce if it works and I can swing without my back locking up I will get into the bulldog for sets of ten no problem. that would be so cool to be able to use it safely again.

Mark Reifkind said...

royce if it works and I can swing without my back locking up I will get into the bulldog for sets of ten no problem. that would be so cool to be able to use it safely again.

Royce said...

AWSOME dude, my legs grew when I was up in Precott and about all I did was 2 hand bulldog swings.
Rock on man!

Geoff Neupert said...

Nice job! I've also noticed that in order for me to squat correctly, I have to break at the knee first instead of the hips--exactly the opposite of conventional wisdom. Otherwise I end up bending forward when I stand up and my squat looks more like a good morning.

Mark Reifkind said...


I was the same way. when I found out from Chek that the glutes engage at 20 Deg knee flexion I realized I could back squat- IF I could start with my knees bent! LOL! Judges didnt like that and for some damn reason I could duplicate it even close starting from a locked knee.

Tom Furman said...

Looking at a picture of Hugh Cassidy squat will cure you of any ideas about what the "right" squat form is. You have to find the cause of your ignorance as Bruce Lee said.


The Dymmel said...


You look nice and tight on those snatches. Beautiful!

Franz Snideman said...

Sweet Rif! Looks great brother!

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks guys. right now at 1 pm the back is tight but fine.everything is tired and I can tell I did some heavy work in a different way. stretched out for almsot an hour today and will again this afternoon.

Tom I have to think about the cause of my ignorance more.