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3 Tips for Better Oly Lifts

At this point, most coaches, trainers, and athletes inherently know that if you want to get bigger, fast, and stronger, Olympic weightlifting exercises are a great one-stop shopping source. That said, if you’re going to implement a great tool into your program, you might as well get the most out of it that you can.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Here’s 3 tips to get better leverage out of your Snatch and Clean:

1. Drive through the entire foot.
An error I often see in athletes new to the Oly Lifts is the inability to stably put force into the ground. This usually comes in the form of driving through the balls of the feet with the heels elevated. While triple-extension IS the name of the game, drigin through the ball of your foot early:
A) Shifts the load from an even displacement towards the knees.
B) Reduces leverage by moving the bar away from center of mass.
B) Forces unwanted backwards torso swing as a result of B)
C) Reduces potential force production via less stable ground connection.

Push through your whole foot and get a better drive on the bar.

Photo credit: Associated Press

2. Close the triangle/ brush the thigh.
Whether you’re pulling from the floor, the blocks, or pulling from a hang position below the knee, there’s going to be a transitional phase that essentially takes you from a hinge pattern to a more athletic position in order to keep the bar near the center of mass and moving vertically. In this transition, the knees slide under the bar and the torso orients itself in an upright posture.

Once the bar sits just above the knees, there is a “triangle” that forms with the corners being at the hips, armpit, and where the bar meets the knees. You’re going to want to “brush the thigh” with the bar or “close the triangle”. Sweep with your lats rather than by flexing your elbows. This draws the bar closer to center of mass, creating better leverage. Sweeping the with straight arms as close as possible to the crease of your hip sets you up for what comes next…

Photo credit: Hookgrip

3. The bar wants to hang/ make it weightless.
The bar needs to be driven by the legs. At FSP, we call it big guns vs little guns. Because the closest attached joint to the bar is the shoulder, new lifters tend to want to pull with their arms early, effectively limiting lower body power output. Pull out those big guns and drive the bar with your legs. The idea here is to make the bar weightless with your legs so the rest of your body can finish the job by driving under the bar at its peak height (where it’s technically weightless), rather than try to pull it higher.


Put these three tips into action and improve your Oly Lifts today.

Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS

Author: Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS

Aaron Runner is the Owner of Full-Stride Performance in Roswell, GA and a former NCAA Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS

Aaron Runner, MS, CSCS View All

Aaron Runner is the Owner of Full-Stride Performance in Roswell, GA and a former NCAA Strength & Conditioning Coach.

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