Thursday, June 18, 2009

Knee Injury. Or, How I Became a Snatch Specialist

Yesterday I dislocated my knee. Although I've dislocated my knee more times than I can count, I have not injured it to this degree since I had reconstructive knee surgery in 1996. The irony here is that I did not dislocate the knee exercising (GS has a very low incidence of injury). I actually did it sitting down in the courtroom, in the middle of a rape trial. Long story, I'll spare you the details.

As you may know from a previous post, my favorite kettlebell exercise (and sporting event) is the Long Cycle Clean and Jerk aka "Long Cycle" or "LC" in Internet parlance. In addition to loving the LC for the total body workout it provides, I have progressed faster in the LC than I have in other lifts, and the positive training results have encouraged me to concentrate more on this exercise.
The legs are the prime movers for much of the LC, and it provides a much more intense stressor on the lifter's legs than the snatch. Using two kettlebells instead of one has a lot to do with that.

I had planned, based on my progress, to enter into a competition in the Men's LC event. In light of that, I had already shifted my workout focus to LC. I was even considering dropping the snatch completely from my workouts until the contest was over. Then I dislocated my knee.

Now the knee is pretty sore. Sore enough that I'm just not up to cleaning and jerking two 24kg KB's for 8-10 minutes at 7 rpm. Or, more accurately, I'm not up to cleaning and jerking any amount of weight right now for any period of time.

Fortunately, I can still get a good KB workout with the snatch. Because of the mechanics of the snatch, I can still do this lift for several minutes at a stretch without any stress on my knee. As a matter of fact, my knee felt better after an eight minute snatch set with my 20kg KB than it had all day.

So, while I'm waiting for the knee to heal up, I'll be concentrating on the One-Armed Snatch (OAS). Its not so bad. It's a weak link I need to work on, and here's my chance. In the mean time, I'll be formulating a plan to incorporate squats and stretching into my routine to ensure a proper muscle balance in my knee area. Wish me luck...

Here is a video of a KB expert, Bonnie Mullaney, working the snatch. She has also recently suffered an injury, although much more serious than mine(broken leg). Please remember her in your prayers. I wish her a speedy and full recovery.

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