Olympic Weightlifting Skills

With the “CrossFit-lite” that we’ve been doing, an Achille’s heel of ours is the Weightlifting (e.g. Clean and Jerk, and Snatch).  They are so technique oriented that it is tough for us to manage on our own (unlike powerlifting which involves slower movements), so on the recommendation of others, we sought out some local coaching.

Monday night was our first workout with the local Olympic weightlifting coach at the Cincinnati Weightlifting club #1822 over in Fairfield, not all that far away from us.  We spent the time working on various skills and positions as precursors to the lifts.  It was amazing that even though we’ve been exercising vigorously for the past 6 months doing squats, etc, we were still quite sore in the shoulders, low back, and even most surprisingly, our hip flexors.  Heck, we can do squats now until the cows come home, but fine tuning our position for some of the technical intricacies of the lifts had us working muscles in ways we hadn’t been accustomed to…. yowsa!!

Some of the skills we worked:

  • Focus on “stretching/pulling” the bar “like it’s taffy” for stronger shoulder support and lockout rather than just “shrugging” the bar and losing the benefit/support of the skeletal system.
  • Foot/Knee squat positioning… needed some tweaking
  • Back/Butt positioning… my lower back and hamstrings need to continue to be stretched to get good positioning
  • “Good Mornings” for positioning and hamstring stretch in one of the middle “pull” positions.
  • Upright rows tweaked for the final shrug/pull position
  • Foot positioning from the jump to the “squat-under”
  • Snatch-balance squats
  • Behind the neck push presses (fine tuned bar travel also).
  • Accommodations to work around stiff ankles until they stretch out more (e.g. heel on plywood for higher angle, giving me a more upright back angle)
  • Overhead Squat positioning (Due to lack of flexibility, I still lean over too far and compensate by having the bar too far back to keep it over my knees).
  • “Goblet Squats” and “Potatoe squats” to work on upright back positioning in the squat (using a dumbbell)

And I think there were other things we discussed/worked on too, but I was on info-overload.  Even though I’ve been reviewing video, reading, and doing some of this for the past 6 months, it’s amazing how much I’ve yet to learn.

Chris has a great demeanor and coaching style that works well for us….. low key… understands the limitations of older participants and intermediate accommodations…. and communication/humor that works well for both of us.  He wanted to know what our intentions were regarding weightlifting (e.g. hone technique, serious lifting, etc).  We admitted that we are continuing with CrossFit-style workouts, but are intrigued by the weightlifting too, so we’d like to see where we can go with it.  There are upcoming Weightlifting meets, the next July 18th in Sandusky, so he encouraged us to consider doing that to get our feet wet.  I seriously doubt we’ll have any semblance of form/technique by then, but since I sat through a Meet a few weeks ago, I understand that most of the pressure will be self-induced no matter how “good” we get at this.  lol

Great start and we’re looking forward to more torture from Chris on Friday!


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