The Press, The Snatch

The Snatch of Kaarlo Kangasniemi

The Snatch of Kaarlo Kangasniemi

R.A. Roman, M.S. Shakirzyanov

The Press, the Snatch, the Clean and Jerk

Moscow, FiS, 40-41:1970

Translated by Andrew Charniga, Jr.

Sportivny Press©

The athlete places his feet in the starting position in such that the projection of the bar is over the middle of the foot. The trunk is leaning forward at an angle of about 45°; the pelvis is at knee level.

Like all athletes the sportsman begins lifting the barbell by straightening the knees. The trunk gradually leans forward. The center of gravity of the barbell and the body are in the same line (the bar is positioned over the middle of the foot at the start); therefore, the barbell initially is raised strictly vertical (figures 1 to 3, positions 1 to 3).

The athlete shifts the shoulder girdle forward when the barbell approaches the knees (figure 3). The barbell’s trajectory begins to curve towards the athlete (position 3). The trunk has inclined to the maximum when the bar is at knee level; the knees are flexed to an angle of 155°. The shoulders are in front of the bar.

Subsequently, the athlete raises the barbell by straightening the trunk. The knee and hip joints shift forward and down. The legs cease to bend and move under the bar when the knees reach an angle of 135°. The athlete has concluded the first phase of the pull and is preparing for the second phase, the explosion (figure 4). The barbell has shifted 5 cm towards the sportsman at this instant and is found at 2/3 of the length of the thigh (figure 4).

The athlete executes the concluding phase of the pull with the simultaneously combined effort of the muscles of the legs and trunk.  The sportsman straightens the trunk and rises onto the toes from the position depicted in figure 4. The shoulder girdle, bar, and metatarsal  phalangeal joints lie in the same vertical line at the moment the athlete rises onto the toes; the knee and hip angles are both 130° (figure 5). The barbell begins to drift away from the athlete as he rises onto the toes (position 5).

Although the athlete has “adopted” the correct positioning of the body at the beginning of the explosion, the athlete finishes it incorrectly. Instead of simultaneously straightening the legs and trunk and assuming an almost vertical disposition, the sportsman begins by straightening the trunk (figure 6) and then the legs (figure 7). As a result, the center of gravity of the athlete barbell system shifts backwards significantly at the final instant of the explosion; this, in turn, causes the barbell to shift forward significantly.

The barbell is raised upward at a distance of 7 cm (the optimum is 2 to 2.5 cm) in front of the sportsman (positions 6, 7). Since the final effort is not directed in a strict vertical upward, the athlete is unable to achieve a full realization of the muscular force needed to lift the barbell. The barbell is raised with low speed (1.56 m/sec); consequently, the athlete is unable to achieve the necessary height of lifting.

The athlete rearranges his feet to the side and rearwards by 9 cm as he executes the squat under. Since the barbell was significantly in front of the athlete after the explosion, it also shifts significantly in an arc towards the athlete during the squat under (position 8 to 10).

The athlete holds the barbell overhead with straight arms in the squat position; the trunk is leaning forward; the back is arched (figure 10). However, the athlete is unable to hold the barbell; its inertia carries it backwards and it drops (figure 11, position 11).

Kangasniemi lifted the barbell with a two  beat rhythm. The athlete executed the first phase of the pull and began the explosion correctly. However, he committed an error in the concluding phase by forcefully shifting the trunk backwards. He did not fully utilize his force in lifting the barbell; as a result, he lifted it with a low velocity (only 1.56 m/sec) and to a low height (123.5 cm).

It is necessary to lift a barbell to a height of 128 to 130 cm for a man of his height (168 cm), in order to fix the barbell overhead for which the minimum barbell speed in the explosion is 1.70 to 1.75 m/sec.

The athlete’s starting position is also a disadvantage because the feet are placed significantly in front of the line of the bar.





  Kangasniemi Snatch F

Kangasniemi Snatch A



  Kandasniemi Snatch Trajectory

  Kandasniemi Snatch Trajectory

Kangasniemi Snatch A




Kangasniemi Snatch Trajectory



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