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Olympic Lifting – Tips

Dear 6221 members,

As you know for the rest of May, we will be working a lot on the olympic lift. The goals of the program is to help our athletes improve the execution as well as to get them become more comfortable with the movements. If you are still new to or just learning the lifts, please do check for the Skill schedules on Tuesday and Thursday when we will go over these skills.  This will be the first of a two part notes for our athletes aimed to provide pointers when learning the movements.

 

Now going into the specifics.

When we coach olympic lifts, there are a few areas which I’d focus on. Unlike normal power lift like deadlift, strict press and squats, execution of the snatch and clean and jerk movements requires more than just brute force. Each lift requires coordination, speed, explosive power as well as absolute power. The better you are in combining these elements, the better you will be in executing the movements.

 

Hence, when performing these movements, I’d like all of us to focus on the following:

Snatch

 

Receiving Position or the Catch Phase

When an athlete performs a snatch, the receiving position whether it’s a squat or power, I would like them to stay in the catch position and hold that position for a few beats before standing up. This helps them with understanding their coordination and balance. Even during warm up and an empty bar, perform the movement as deliberate as if you have a fully loaded bar.

 

The First Pull

First pull is when the athlete brings the bar from the ground up to above the knee level. During this pull, the speed must be controlled and deliberate in such a way that you are building momentum for the second pull which starts from above the knee. Do not rush it no matter how heavy you feel the bar is. Focus on pushing the knees back creating vertical shins to allow for the bar to clear the knees, but make sure that the athlete still stays balanced and controlled

 

The Turnover Phase

This is when you bring the bar up from the hip to overhead or to the front rack position for the clean. The key is to focus on keeping the bar really close to your torso and fast turnover into the catch position. Relax your arms. Death gripping the bar will kill the speed of the turnover. Imagine your arms to be loose but powerful at the same time.
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Clean and Jerk

All the above do also apply to clean and jerk. Difference is snatch is one continuous movement from the ground to overhead, whereas, the clean and jerk is two separate movements. However, the key to training for both movements will be the same.

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So during the olympic lifting sessions, please do remember these pointers. Hope you have a fun time learning them.

 

Happy training!!!

Coach Tom