Over time your form will improve and you will be able to add small amounts of load to the bar. THIS IS AWESOME! Seriously, good work. Olympic Weightlifting is a sport and type of training that creates some of the strongest and most powerful people in the world! It is no surprise that these athletes have huge vertical jumps from their training.
As coaches we see the benefits of Olympic weightlifting transferring over to many sports as they develop incredible explosive power and help with acceleration and agility. Even for the non-athlete or regular person, weightlifting carries a whole assortment of benefits:
- Increases power and strength
- Develops coordination
- Protects the spine and prevent injury
- Increases mobility
- Breaks up training so you can work with lighter loads
- They are fun to learn
For general physical fitness adding them into the program 1-2 times per week has seen amazing benefits even for those looking to get a little bit fitter. There’s nothing better than watching one of our members pull themselves under a bar and seeing the look of excitement when they nail a lift.
Learning the lifts is a process, and not one that you can or should ever rush into. Even the strongest of people need time to develop their technique and build up. To avoid frustration, here are our tips for learning the Olympic Lifts.
Learning the Snatch and Clean & Jerk takes time. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun though. Start with a broomstick and learn the basics before progressing to an empty bar. Coordinating the lift so you move smoothly can mean retraining your body’s movement.
TIP: Practice for 10 minutes 2-3 times a week on a broomstick or empty bar the basic progressions such as The Burgener Warm Up.
YOU GOTTA GET A GRIP
Ahhh hook grip! That uncomfortable, thumb numbing hand position is actually one of the strongest grips you can use. It is going to take some time to get used to, so tape up your thumbs if you need and never forget it.
TIP: Hook grip everything! Your steering wheel, shopping bags… EVERYTHING!
WHATS THAT ONE AGAIN?
To get a good understanding of what you are doing, learning the names will help you progress. You don’t want to be that guy/gal who still asks what they are doing after 12 months.
TIP: Remember that when you see the word ‘Power’ you don’t need to squat to full depth. If you see ‘Hang’ the bar starts off the ground (usually at the knee or mid thigh). For most fitness purposes you will not need to know much more than that.
For most of us who aren’t gifted athletes with extraordinary flexibility – tightness has developed in our body that needs to be worked on. Wrists, Hips, Shoulders/Back, Hips and Ankles are some of the most common tight areas that limit most people with their lifts and spending some time on these can work wonders for your development with the lifts.
TIP: Find the mobility exercises that work best for you and do them before every session.
CELEBRATE THE SMALL STUFF
Over time your form will improve and you will be able to add small amounts of load to the bar. THIS IS AWESOME! Seriously, good work… Even small progressions should be seen as achievements. Most of us will never lift the weights that the top weightlifters and CrossFitters can, but that shouldn’t stop us working hard. Compare your results to yourself, and don’t worry about what everyone else is lifting.
TIP: There’s a good chance the gorilla snatching 100kg+ struggled just like you did at the start too. When he PB’s make sure you give them credit where it’s due, but remember that your PB is just as important.
Learning the Olympic Lifts is a great way to challenge you both physically and mentally. When you hit a new PB, you’ll feel amazing and thank yourself for taking the time to practice. Follow these 5 tips and watch your lifting improve faster than ever.