Snap Back: A Quick Guide to Making Your Lifts Easier

22 Jan Snap Back: A Quick Guide to Making Your Lifts Easier

 Snap Back: A Quick Guide to Making Your Lifts Easier




Personalised-Yo-Yos-6397I remember the first time I heard it. I was in a college weight room and my buddy flat out told me the reason I got pinned at the bottom of my squat was because I had no starting strength. I kept myself from calling him a poop face and asked how I could build more of this starting strength as he called it.

Box squats was his solution. Then he told me that I would need to challenge myself in new and interesting ways to build on this.

I never forgot what my friend told me and after years of education and experience I’ve reached one conclusion from what he told me — calling him a poop face would not have been appropriate.

I actually got really good at coming up with new and interesting ways to build starting strength and my lifting has reaped great benefits from it. I got so good at making things harder that after a while I forgot that when you’re going for a big number you need to use techniques that make the lift easier not harder. Don’t need to stop on a box for 5 seconds every single workout and when I take the box out the body needs to be working correctly  to make a smooth transition from down to up.


Same things go for a bunch of different lifts so here’s a little coaching guide I came up with to remember when you’re going for a big lift in the following money lifts.


Use the Stretch In the Squat

I’ve used box squats to add over 100 pounds to my deadlift and was very pleased but when I took the box away I had a hard time coming out of the hole. For those of you who don’t know, coming out of the hole refers to reversing the direction from down to up when the hips have reached full flexion at the bottom of the squat (what should be a little lower than 90 degrees of hip flexion).

The muscles that help you out of this flexion and extend the hip are the glutes and hamstrings (among others). As I talk about in this awesome squat article the hamstrings stretch at the bottom because of the way attachment on the pelvis itls away from the attachment on the tibia.

So the as the two ends of the muscle stretch apart, a rebound occurs on the bottom and can help catapult you out of the bottom if used correctly.


 What Goes Down Should Be Thought About Going Up

Very proud of this little subtitle. Very cute.

I’ve written far more detailed posts about learning to bench press  but I just want to talk about one little tip here. It’s called the “springboard effect” by some of the lifters who hang out with Dave Tate.

The importance of using your back when you bench press cannot be emphasized enough. The lower back should be arched and the upper back should be pushed into the bench.

Next time you go to bench press, think about bringing the back down with your back and think about pushing the bar up as you bring it to your chest. It helps to keep thinking of the word “up” as you bring it down.

It’ll take a little time to grasp this and a lot of time to master it but it can produce gains in your bench press in as little as a week if it’s really practiced.


Correction Displacement

For the sake of simplicity, correction displacement can be defined as focusing on the latter part of a movement to correct something that occurs sooner.

Say you have a problem transitioning from the first pull on the clean to the second pull of the clean. Your hips come up too soon and your arms swing out when you go from the second pull to the rack position. If, from the bottom part of the movement, you focus on brushing the bar against your shirt as you’re finishing the second pull and going to rack the weight, the entire pattern can be cleaned up and the lift becomes more fluid.

This can also be seen in simpler lifts like an overhead press. If you have a problem with the initial upwards drive and you seem to have a hard time pushing the bar back over your ears, think about pushing your head and hips slightly forward at the lockout right for the start of the lift.

It may take some time to figure out which ones work for you but it’s a worthwhile struggle.


What about you? Do you have any tips like this? Trust me, I want to know.



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