Hey Bears!  This month we are picking up where we left off, we will continue learning the most efficient way to move a barbell.  In last month’s article we discussed the weight shift that needs to occur when cleaning, snatching and shoulder-to-overhead.  This month we will talk about the finer details of barbell cycling specifically how and when to breath for each given movement.  

We can start our way from the top and make our way down.  When working shoulder to overhead we want to remember to sit back, keep your torso upright, punching the barbell overhead, and re-loading the barbell by pulling down to the bottom of your dip so the instant the barbell touches the shoulders, you can immediately go into the next rep.  Two of the finer details to remember are breathing and your hand position.  Always remember when cycling to breath, try to exhale as the barbell is punched overhead and inhale as the barbell descends back to the shoulders.  As for hand positioning, the wider a person can be with the front rack position and still be able to maintain a high power output the better.  This means less range-of-motion the bar needs to travel to become overhead. 

Next we will look at the snatch. The main tips from last month for this one are as the bar ascends keep the bar as close as possible, be aggressive on the turn over to ensure a proper lockout overhead, and the slight weight shift to the heals to reach a quicker power or squat position. Looking at the descent shoot the hips back, get the elbows over the top of the bar as quick as possible, again stay on the heels.  The main points of the descent are where the bar should hit and the breathing involved when cycling.  The number of touch points on the descent always depends on the weight, if an athlete is comfortable going straight down while maintaining good positioning and mechanics, this should be the go-to option.  However, as weight gets heavier it is not a good idea because it will change the rhythm of the overall movement.  If you are one of the athletes who makes, contact in the hip on the way up you should try to recreate that as you descend with heavier weight this again will help slow the bar.  As for the breathing you want to inhale during the ascent, and exhale overhead and on the way down. 

Finally, for the clean position all the same rules apply as the snatch.  You want to focus on the same key points, the fastest way a barbell can move is straight up and down with no contact points if the weight allows it.  If not hit the same contact point coming down as you would on the way up.  Breathing is also exactly the same. 

Continue to practice these skills discussed over the past two months and you will find that you will shave off time of all your WODs, Keep up the good work bears!