Lately in class we have been working on the Olympic lifts quite a bit. These lifts are great for improving athletic performance, overall speed and power, flexibility and just making us more awesome.We could all improve our technique on these lifts. I want to stress the importance of training the “full squat” version of the snatch and clean+jerk, as long as we have a strong enough foundation to support that weight (squat variations). We see lots of athletes avoiding getting under the bar in Oly lifts for many reasons, such as, inflexibility, lack of confidence, fear, discomfort, mental blocks or some combo of all the above. We stick to whats comfortable, the “power” position….
I want to share a few tips that will help you get away from “power” and under that bar.
1.) Stretch out daily
Cant stress this enough. If you know you have tight hips take a few extra minutes a day stretching them out. This goes for any area you know you’re limited in. Even a few minutes a day add up. If you want some great stretches for a specific area, ask a coach, we are here for you.
2.) Work on technique with light to moderate weight.
Practice pulling under the bar with a comfortable weight. If you try to go too heavy too fast you will miss every attempt, get frustrated and not make progress. This stuff takes time, focus and be patient. Practice, and practice with solid technique with incrementally heavier weights.
3.) Train with a friend (or better yet, a coach).
This is huge. Getting feedback on lifts will help out big time. Ask a friend or a coach to watch you do a few lifts. We’re happy to help out and improvement can be instant in some cases.
4.) Video record your lifts.
The next best thing to a good training partner. Record your lift, watch it right away and see what looked good and what to work on. There are also some cool (and free) apps for slow motion video that can really help, like Ubersense.
5.) Practice from the “high hang”, at the proper trigger point.
This is where the magic happens. Practice high hang snatches and cleans. Again with a moderate weight, and really focus on that pull under the the bar. This will aide in developing power and speed.
Use these tips to enhance your practice, and remember that the Oly lifts take time, focus, and diligence to improve.
Warm-up ideas and routines.
“How to” series from Glenn Pendlay at California Strength
Coach Don McCauley presents a number of drills to develop your Olympic Weighlifting technique.
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