Ground Up Analysis

Workout of the day for Wednesday October 23rd, 2013:

15 minutes to work up to a heavy:
3 Position Pause Snatch + 1 High Hang Snatch

Conditioning (There will be a separate conditioning piece if you are competing in the gauntlet this Saturday)
Conditioning (If you are not competing in the gauntlet this Saturday):
4/3/2 Rounds:
Run 400 Meters
10 Deadlift 275/155lb
Run 400 Meters
*Rest 3 minutes between rounds

Repost from:

By AthleteCell Head Coach — Doug Katona

Guido Snatch

Ah the set-up. It can make or break the execution of the lift/movement. I’m mainly talking monostructural here but there is application for WoDs too for what I’m about to tell you. Heck, there is even application for just about every sport. Let’s stay simple in the complex.

Just think squat, press, DL or O Lift. Imagine yourself getting ready to do a lift. What do you think about as you nestle up near the bar? Some of you take a deep breath. Some of you run through a few key cues to remember. Others of you may get angry. Some go into a Bruce Lee state of calm before battle. As a coach and athlete, I think set-up. I know if the set-up is spot on, then we’ve got the opportunity for success.
When I get video from athletes, my job is to take an analytical look at what happens before the lift is executed. So much more complexity there. If just one or two components are missing then the athlete may only get 85% of the potentiality of the lift done. Or we may see a movement flaw leading to inefficiency. Or worse, injury.

How do you know what to look at? Easy. Go ground up! The top 10:

    1. The feet. Ground in. The feet establish the strong foundation. Taking time to set proper spacing, position and tactile strength of the feet starts it.
    2. Body Weight distribution. Pending the lift, know where the body weight starts (and ends pending the lift…i.e. Snatch).
    3. Shin Position. Again, pending the lift (DL, Snatch, Squat), know what angle is necessary to provide the accurate position to drive the lift and produce the ideal leverage.
    4. Knees. This one is not too complicated. Watch the orientation of the knee angle to hip and foot/shin. Generally speaking, we want knees out (and set) for stability.
    5. Q Angle/Femur. With #4 above and with proper hip/midline arrangement, this one often goes along for the ride. Unless you are like me (angle and physics geek), then go on to #6.
    6. Hip. Simply put, look for the strike of the hip in relationship to the bar. We want to see a properly aligned, stable and ready hip position. A lot of power can be won or lost here. This is also a skill for a lot of athletes to be aware of their hip orientation. Coaches – know the difference betw hip flexion and extension and be savvy enough to spot it!
    7. Midline/Torso. Engaged. Lock down baby. It’s not about tightening up so you can’t move, its about securing your seat belt so to speak in the event sh&t gets gnar gnar. This is all about protection of the body (low back) and insurance.
    8. Shoulder/Shelf. Your upper chest and shoulders. This could be a separate diatribe altogether but we are seeing a lot of shoulder tweaks. Its not CrossFit! Heck, There’s probably more injuries in golf! It’s how people are positioning and lifting/receiving load in their upper trunk and shoulders. Look for a “high” chest/shelf and shoulders that are externally rotated…yeah, buzz term huh? But few understand it. It’s also about seting the humerus into that shoulder capsule for stability.
    9. Your big head. Keep it back. Any forward movement prematurely of the head in the set-up can weaken your position. Your noggin needs to be in a place of power – stacked over your spine or in alignment with your spine.
    10. Re-set the set-up. As a coach, take a few seconds to re-visit, take inventory of the key points listed here, then watch the execution of the lift. As an athlete, this process should become automatic. It’s a skill! A successful athlete will be able to check off their set-up requirements very quickly prior to each lift.


Don’t worry about lifting something too heavy! With a proper Ground Up Analysis, the worst thing that’s gonna happen is that you can’t move the bar where you want. The best things that’s gonna happen is that you crush the lift! And you walk away feeling ready for more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *