Do You Donkey Kick?

~ Photo credit: Wendy Callendar

The foundation seminar on the Snatch that we had in March was a great success!  The members that attended have told us that they learned so much, and are now working continuously on improving their snatch.  At the seminar, I had gone over some common Snatch flaws that we notice around the gym, so I thought I would share them with the rest of you Zoners! I will do a series of posts on them, but for now the first one is….

The Donkey Kick or “Crossfit Jump”

~ From the CrossFit Journal “Ditching the Donkey Kick” by Bob Takano

I didn’t come up with these terms but rather heard them used by individuals within the CrossFit community.  Because the movement is prevalent enough to get a name, it must be somewhat common.

This phenomenon occurs when athletes lift their feet off the ground prematurely in order to increase the volume of the sound of their feet striking the floor. Somebody once figured out that the volume of the sound was an appropriate indicator that a good lift was being performed.

It reminds me of a group of fitness buffs I read about a few years ago. They were into aerobic fitness and reasoned that the slower their heart rates, the more “fit” they must be. They regularly compared heart rates to see which ones were lower. After a while, some of them began to take beta blockers in order to lower their heart rates. They were caught up in trying to achieve the symptom, rather than what it represented.

The donkey kick works the same way. Someone figured out that the volume of the sound of the feet was the symptom to be achieved. It really means that you don’t complete the triple extension and subsequently aren’t making full use of the legs to perform the pull. Any competent weightlifting coach knows this.

The exercise I use to correct this is to have the lifter start with the snatch or clean in the hang position and the legs fully extended, with the heels off the floor and the balance on the balls of the feet. The only pull that can be employed is by pulling upward with the arms, as in an upright row.  The athlete must then skim the feet quickly from full extension to the squatting or receiving stance and go under the bar very quickly. Light weights and low reps per set should be employed.

Give these exercises a try from Catalyst Athletics:

Be sure to book a skills session with your Coach if you want to work on your Snatch!

Today’s Workout

Buy In – Coach set up obstacle course using boxes, beams, tires, parallel bars etc

WOD –  “Plunging”

Complete the following for time:
200M Run
20 Pullups
20 Walking lunges
400M Run
20 Pullups
20 Walking lunges
800M Run
20 Pullups
20 Walking lunges

Zone 2 – scale to assisted pullups
Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash Out – MWOD
* Lat stretch with Rubber band
* Figure four stretch against wall
* Roll out Calves and posterior chain


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