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6 Olympic Lifting Movements

6 Olympic Lifting Movements

Olympic lifting is a crucial part of many popular workout routines, from CrossFit to a range of strength and conditioning programs. Our in-house strongman Bruce takes us through six of his favourite movements.

These lifts and others can be a great way to change up training whilst still developing strength, power, speed and coordination. But technical assistance is definitely advisable for beginners.

1. Power Clean (all levels)

Setup

  • Stand over the barbell, feet hip width apart
  • Squat down and grip bar just outside feet, shoulders over the bar, neutral/braced trunk.

Execution

  • Drive barbell up with legs (similar to deadlift), keep bar as close as possible to body
  • Once bar passes knees, explosively extend hips and use momentum to carry bar up
  • As soon as hips are fully extended, quickly drive body under and catch the barbell in the front rack position, with elbows as high as possible and in a partial quarter squat
  • To finish, slowly lower barbell to hips and absorb with bent knees and hips before lowering to ground. Always maintain braced trunk

2. Front Squat (all levels)

SETUP

  • Begin with barbell in front rack position; high elbows/'proud chest with loose grip on bar
  • Step away from racks, maintaining braced upright posture with feet hip-width or slightly wider and firmly set

Execution

  • Taking a deep breath in to create tight 'chamber' in trunk, begin to slowly sit back into a squat (ensuring knees do NOT fold in)
  • Squat to depth where upright posture is still maintained, with high elbows and 'proud chest'
  • Finish by squeezing glutes and driving up out of squat to full extended position

3. Squat Clean (Intermediate to Advanced)

SETUP

  • Stand over the barbell, feet hip width apart
  • Squat down and grip bar just outside feet, shoulders over the bar, neutral/braced trunk.

Execution

  • Similar to ‘Power clean’, however, immediately after fully extending hips and driving barbell above waist, the athlete is to drive under the barbell into a full squat position
  • The receiving position should be in a full squat and look identical to the bottom of a ‘Front Squat’
  • To finish, drive up whilst maintaining upright/braced trunk till fully extended.
  • Slowly lower barbell to hips and absorb with bent knees and hips before lowering to ground 

4. Push Jerk (Intermediate to Advanced)

SETUP

  • Similar to the strict press or push press, with feet in-line and about hip-width apart
  • Ensure feet are firmly set, with weight going through mid-foot. Grip barbell firmly

Execution

  • Similar to a push press, with a small dip and explosive drive up, whilst still maintaining upright posture and elbows under the bar
  • Use explosive drive up from legs to drive barbell up and off shoulders whilst driving up with arms
  • Before barbell reaches full height and slows down, quickly dip under bar and catch with fully extended arms in overhead position
  • With arms locked out, extend hips and knees to full stand up and stabilise barbell
  • Finish by slowly lowering to shoulders and repeating if needed

5. Power Snatch (All levels)

SETUP

  • Stand over the barbell, feet hip width apart or slightly wider
  • Squat down and grip bar in very wide overhead grip, shoulders over the bar, neutral and upright trunk

Execution

  • Drive barbell up with legs (similar to deadlift), keep bar as close as possible to body
  • Once bar passes knees, explosively extend hips and use momentum to carry bar up
  • As soon as hips are fulling extended, quickly drive body under the barbell, elbows high, and catch the barbell in an overhead position.
  • To finish, slowly lower barbell to hips and absorb with bent knees and hips before lowering to ground. Always maintain braced trunk

6. Squat Snatch (Intermediate to Advanced)

SETUP

  • Stand over the barbell, feet hip width apart or slightly wider
  • Squat down and grip bar in very wide overhead grip, shoulders over the bar, neutral and upright trunk

Execution

  • Similar to ‘Power Snatch’, however, immediately after fully extending hips and driving barbell above waist, the athlete is to drive under the barbell into a full squat position.
  • The receiving position should be in a full squat, with barbell held securely overhead with extended arms
  • To finish, drive up whilst maintaining upright/braced trunk till fully extended.
  • Slowly lower barbell to hips and absorb with bent knees and hips before lowering to ground

You can follow Bruce at: www.instagram.com/builtbybruce

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