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|Norbert Schemansky, Tommy Kono|
by Denis Reno (2005)
I'm assuming that you already do some Olympic lifting or act as a coach. I'd like you to try to stop being a coach for an hour or so, and try to understand the simple rules below. Try these, and I'm sure your lifting will improve.
Simple Rules to Snatch or Clean
- As you stand over the barbell, feel your full footprint on the floor before you lower yourself to take your grip.
- Hold your spine as straight as possible from neck to butt.
- Keep your arms loose with your elbows aiming sideways.
- Now lower with your legs to get your grip on the bar.
- Get set to pull from the floor by tightening your lower back/butt and making sure you feel solid and in balance on your feet.
- Keeping your elbows above your wrists, concentrate on using your full leg power and pull the bar first along your thighs and then upward along your torso. Keep your elbows above your wrists until . . .
- you rotate your elbows under the bar while jumping your hips under it.
- Always think of keeping the barbell coming upward to the final position, either overhead in the snatch or at the shoulders in the clean.
The short version of the above:
- Stiff spine.
- Loose arms.
- Pull bar close.
- Keep bar moving up, up, up.
Simple Rules to Jerk
- Keep your back straight and spine locked.
- Keep your arms relaxed, rest the bar on a high chest/shoulder.
- First feel your full feet on the floor, then slightly sway backward so that you feel the weight on your heels.
- Stay on your heels as you make a shallow controlled dip down.
- Stay on your heels as you make an explosive leg drive/thrust upward. Keep the force on your heels! Be patient to drive the bar upward before the next step.
- Only after the thrust upward, split or squat your hips low directly under your shoulders with your arms/shoulders reaching up and locked overhead. You want your full leg/hip structure solidly under the straight spine/locked arms. Bar is over shoulders, shoulders over hips.
- Carefully and strongly keep your hips under the bar and carefully recover to the full standing position.
You must learn all of the proper extreme positions and hit these positions in proper sequence in performing an Olympic lift.
Extreme positions are:
1. Full leg extension as bar goes from floor to upper thighs (not necessarily straight legs).
2. Full stretch upward on jump/second pull.
3. Full elbow rotation on catch.
4. Full squat/split under the weight on and after the catch.
5. Full stiff spine under weight on catch, elbows reaching upward.
6. Full dip (even though shallow) for jerk.
7. Full drive upward for jerk.
8. Full hip-under position on catch.
You must learn the proper extreme positions and hit them all.