January 21, 2011

Polish Weightlifting

Found the below video posted on Nick Horton's blog: The Iron Samurai (great site loaded with Olympic Weightlifting info). It is the first of six training hall videos of what appears to be the Polish national team training from about 3-years ago.  Current USAW OTC resident coach Zygmunt Smalcerz appears quite a bit, as does Szymon Kolecki (pictured left, who once C&J 232.5 kg as an 18 year old!).  I am surprised by the amount of arm pull used during pulls throughout the video.  Most lifters also pull their chest toward the bar as they finish the pull.  This is counter to what many coaches teach when performing pulls, where "traditional" technique will have the lifter finish fully extended at the knee, hip, and ankle.

I am somewhere in between these two schools of thought.  Artificially extending the pull, and spending too much time in triple extension, is wasted effort that can be better used to pull under the bar.  I have also never like the idea of athletes using their arms to pull on the bar after hip extension. Too many athlete will try to use their arms to lift the weight, rather then their hips and back. Likewise, I have always been against pulling the chest to the bar, as this creates bad habits, in my opinion, that lead to missed lifts in front and unfinished pulls.

The recent results of the Polish team, and the success of many of their lifters, may suggest otherwise. Always learning...

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