Biomechanical Comparison of Unilateral and Bilateral Power Snatch Lifts

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Biomechanical characteristics of the one-handed dumbbell power snatch (DBPS) were examined to determine whether significant differences existed between unilateral and bilateral weightlifting movements. Kinetic and kinematic movement data were recorded from 10 male weightlifters (mean ± SD: age: 30.2 ± 10.2 years; height: 174.2 ± 4.4 cm; body mass: 81.5 ± 14.6 kg) during one-handed dumbbell (DB) and traditional barbell (BBPS) power snatch performance with loads of ∼80% of respective lift one repetition maximums (1RM) with the use of 2 synchronized Kistler force plates and high-speed 3-dimensional video. Results highlighted asymmetry in the ground reaction force and kinematic profile of the DBPS, which deviated from the observed patterns of the bilateral movement. This study found that the nonlifting side (the side corresponding with the hand that did not hold the DB) tended to generate a greater pull phase peak vertical ground reaction forces significantly faster (p = 0.001) than the lifting side (the side corresponding with the hand that held the DB) during the DBPS. In addition, the DBPS nonlifting side catch phase loading rate was approximately double that of the lifting side loading rate (p < 0.05). These results quantify symmetrical deviations in the movement patterns of the unilateral power snatch movement both during the concentric muscular contraction of load vertical displacement, and the loading implications of unilateral landing. This asymmetry supports the contention that unilateral variations of weightlifting movements may provide a different training stimulus to athletes.

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