"Quick question for you - I have some pretty good bruising on my left thigh today - I assume from "bumping" the bar during the workout yesterday. Is this normal? Or does this indicate that I'm completely wrong with the technique??
I'd love any advice/insight you might have."
There are a couple of factors going on here that we will discuss about the bruising. To fill in our readers, Michelle was part of a class where we spent some good amount of time on working the power position and the position just below the knee (Pendlay positions #1 and #2 respectively) for the snatch.
Without directly reviewing your particular movement pattern, here are a couple of my initial thoughts:
1.) some amount of bruising/tenderness will occur regardless of how perfect the form is in my opinion, especially if the lifter emphasizes a strong body and bar contact style at the power position.
2.) The fact that you have significantly more bruising on one side relative to the other, to me, suggest that there might be something we need to look at in regards to your technique (uneven stance, possibly grip).
3.) I try to teach beginners to have the bar seated right in the crease of the hip, positioned over the center of the foot, right before the moment of maximum hip and leg extension occurs. MANY of the participants of the class were grabbing the bar too narrow. IF the bruising on your thigh was anywhere below where the opening of a jeans pocket would be on your body, you were probably performing this movement fault.
4.) A mid thigh bruise during snatch work can also occur if the lifter is impatient on the rapid extension of the hips and legs. If the lifter doesn't wait for their fastest extension to occur when the bar is in the crease of the hip and the torso in a vertical position, then there's a good chance the thigh will make contact as they perform an "early jump."
5.) Provided a lifter does have the proper grip width for the snatch, some unnecessary bruising is still possible if a lifter fails to keep the bar in close proximity to the leg during the transition from position #2 (below the knees) to position #1 (crease of the hip). A contributing factor to this effect would be an incomplete clearing of the knees from the path of the barbell. Check out the picture below for reference:
Ashely does a good job of sweeping the bar back towards her center of gravity, represented by the angled line in the left part of the picture. Notice the bar is right over her midfoot. If she failed to tense/position the lats/scaps properly the bar would fall further out over the front of the foot (follow the red line down in the right side of the picture). This would mean she would have more horizontal distance to either move the bar to her hip joint or vice versa. Either situation could potentially increase more of a 'banging effect' (among other issues) than if she kept the bar over the center of gravity. A similar effect is created if the lifter fails to keep a vertical shin angle as they pass through position #2 - the forward bend of the knee forces the bar to drift over the front of the foot, creating the same effect as if the lifter failed to maintain the proper upper body position.
Hope these help!