Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Olympic Lifting: Preparation

Pyrros Dimas looking
like a beast as usual.

I wasn't sure what to post today, but I knew I wanted to deliver more exercise content. I figured why not discuss Olympic weightlifting. I've noticed it becoming more popular, but the lack of a USAW coach's instruction acts as a limiting factor (another is finding an Olympic gym). I originally was going to write about strongman training, but thought more people will enjoy this.

I'll do one brief post on O-lifting each week for the next four or five weeks. However, I'm not a USAW Olympic coach, an elite weightlifter, or for that fact the most knowledgeable on the subject. I'm simply interested in sharing what I learned as I became more involved with it.

If you're not aware, Olympic weightlifting is the sport comprised of the snatch and the clean & jerk. The technical aspect of the lifts make the sport difficult. You have to be quick, strong, and have great technique to do well. I'll be oversimplifying things in these posts, but it will allow beginners to understand the movements easier.

If the movements are broken down, they can be recognized as a series of three or four separate lifts. They start out as a deadlift, become a shrug-jump movement, a squat, and then the addition of a press in the clean & jerk.


As great as it would be to just give it a go and have the bar smash you in the chin or on your head, the lifts demand a lot of mobility in the ankles, hips, upper back, and shoulders. Luckily for me, I can refer to the following resources:

If you don't focus in on these areas progressing along will be difficult. Pick exercises from each section and use them daily.

The last prerequisite I have to add is you have to know how back squat and deadlift. Both movements are integral in the primary lifts. If you can't do either, practice in the mean time along with the mobility drills.

And that's where I'll end it. A bit short, but I did say the posts will be brief. Next week I'll talk about triple extension, posture, hook grip, and more.

Other posts in this series,

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