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Sunday, August 21, 2011


While we do not wish to detract from the value of the standard and well established exercise movements with bar bells and kindred apparatus, nevertheless we believe it possible to substitute another set of movements which will prove every bit as successful and satisfactory.

To those who are about to begin a bar bell training course, or to those who have had some bar bell experience and wish to follow an entirely different sort of program, we offer the following. These particular movements have not been practiced to any great extent anywhere, though we will not go so far as to claim originality. To make any such claim would only serve to admit a lack of knowledge of our subject. In as much as modern bar bell lifting comprises the best possible system of training the human body, and as we are primarily interested in developing speed as well as strength, we do not hesitate to recommend these movements as a complete exercise system or course. Furthermore, as America is searching for champion lifters in an effort to excel the world, there is no better method of developing our talent than by encouraging the novice to specialize on exercises of this nature. The movements are fundamentally the same as the standard recognized lifts, therefore it will be a simple matter for our budding athlete to later change over to actual lifts; and, with a far greater chance of attaining expert proficiency than if he had been practicing exercises which were entirely foreign to the lifting movements.

First: The One Hand Clean Motion

Bend over in the first position, pull the bell up and over to the shoulder into the second position. You will note that as the bell is pulled upward, the knees are bent and you assume a full squat as the bell reaches the shoulder. This movement should be executed rather quickly. Immediately lower the bell to the floor, at the same time allowing the body to come back to the first position. Practice keeping the left hand on the left knee to assist in the lifting with the right arm. Repeat five times, and then the same number of repetitions with the left arm.

Second: One Hand Stiff Legged Snatch Motion.

The object of this movement is to raise the bell from the floor to arm's length overhead in one movement, without bending the knees. Assume position, pull as hard as you can and throw the bell up. Lower bell to floor and repeat a total of five times. Then do the same with the other arm. Keep the back as straight as possible throughout the motion.

Third: One Hand Jerk Motion.

From position, toss the bell upward, and at the same time bend the knees and squat into position. Keep the left arm free of the body. In performing this movement, you are to toss the bell up very quickly and the squatting is to be just as quick, or rather the leg and ram movements are to be in unison. Assume the erect position, and repeat four more times; then the same with the left arm.

Fourth: Bent Snatch Motion.

Raise the bell overhead with one hand. Now, still holding the bell overhead, squat into position. Then return to the first position and repeat a total of five times. The left should be exercised the same number of times.

In practicing all of the foregoing motions, use an amount of weight which will permit proper performance with respect to every detail. At first it will be necessary to use very light bells, but after becoming accustomed to the coordinated movements, you will undoubtedly be surprised at the ease with which you handle what was formerly a heavy weight. Practice three times a week, and increase one repetition each week. After practicing three days on the tenth repetition, increase the weights and start again on five counts. Remember to keep your eyes on the bell at all times, as by doing so you help to preserve your balance.

Fifth: Stiff Legged Motion.

This is similar to the second motion, excepting that the bell is to be raised only to the shoulder instead of overhead. Pull the bell into position without bending the knees. Perform the movement as quickly as possible. Lower bell to the floor and repeat, afterwards changing to the other hand.

Sixth: Two Hands Clean Squat.

From the first position pull the bell up quickly and strongly and then sink into the low squat of the second position. Be sure to have the elbows well forward when holding the bell in the second position, as this will help you preserve the balance. Also keep the feet flat on the floor as otherwise your balance will be rather precarious. Let the bell back down to the floor; it will be easier if you first rise to the erect position and then lower the bell. Five repetitions should be sufficient.

Seventh: Two Hands Stiff Legged Snatch.

The same as the second motion, but with two rather than one hand. Send the bell quickly to arm's length overhand and repeat a total of five times.

Eighth: Two Hands Squat Jerk.

With the bell at the shoulders, it should be tossed to length of arms overhead. As the bell is tossed overhead, the knees should be bent, and you squat deeply into position. This complete motion should be performed quickly and smoothly. Come to the erect position while holding the bell overhead, lower it to the chest and you are ready to repeat. As you begin to handle heavier weights, it will assist greatly to make the complete movement quickly and without a stop. That is, sink to squat and spring immediately to the erect position.

Ninth: Two Hands Stiff Legged Clean.

The bell is to be lifted from the floor to the erect position. The principal object is to start from the erect position in front of the weight, then to bend down quickly, grasp the bell and pull it to the chest, all without a stop; and while keeping the knees straight. This same plan may be followed in practicing the seventh motion.

Tenth: Two Hands Alternate Split Jerk Motion.

Starting with the bell at the chest, the feet fairly close together, and the knees straight, suddenly bend the knees and toss the bell to full length of arms overhead. As the bell travels upward, split the feet, moving one forward, the other to the rear. From the second position, lower the bell, at the same time bringing the feet together. Then repeat the movement, this time alternating the position of the feel. Repeat a total of ten time, that is, five times with the right foot forward, and five times with the left forward. Increase two counts each week for this motion.

Eleventh: Two Hands Rapid Press Motion.

This is identical to the regular two arm press, only that the movement is performed quickly and without a stop. Stand erect and in rapid succession press the bell to length of arms overhead, and back to the chest without a stop. Five counts should be plenty.

Twelfth: Special Bridging Motion for the Neck.

This is similar to the regulation Wrestler's Bridge. Assuming that position with a bar bell within arms reach at the head, you pick the bell up and hold it at arm's length. Note that you have the toes and not the entire foot in contact with the floor. Rock the head till the shoulders merely touch the floor, then back till the bar bell rests on the floor, meanwhile keeping the arms straight and held out at an angle.

Benefits derived from the foregoing exercises: The entire body is developed and strengthened by each motion. A little study of anatomy will reveal the principal muscles involved in each motion.

The entire group of exercises just outlined will prove very efficient in training oneself to master the low position in lifting. We know of no better way of getting accustomed to the low position of bending the knees to get under weights. In modern lifting, the prime essential seems to be a proficiency in getting down under the bell as it travels upwards. Even though you do not care to master the extreme low styles in lifting, the regular practice of movements such as these will make your legs more springy and efficient, whatever your style of lifting. For instance in the Two Arm Clean, you may prefer the style of Charles Rigoulot; nevertheless, a certain amount of time spent on the low squat will make your knees stronger and more supple for the other style.

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