Six Truths of Olympic Weightlifting Technique
Proper technique is incredibly important when dealing with the heavy weights used during Olympic weightlifting, which is why you need to commit these six important truths to memory and make sure you live (and lift) by them.
- Balance Must Be Over the Feet
If the system’s balance doesn’t rest over the feet, the combined weight of bar and lifter isn’t supported. You’ll move during the lift, but don’t diverge too much. If you move a lot, such as during a snatch or clean with a backward or forward jump, make sure you re-establish the proper balance as quickly as possible to prevent falling over.
- Barbell and Lifter Must Be Close
This should be obvious, but it’s a truth often violated. The closer the bar is, the easier it is to lift, and that’s magnified during complex movements. Bringing the barbell as close as possible to the lifter without making contact allows for explosive action while optimizing safety.
- Waste No Time at the Top of the Pull
The time your body spends in the extended position that follows the moment of maximal acceleration is limited by your ability to relocate under the bar. Whether you want to improve power or form, you need to make sure you can transition between accelerating the bar upwards and bringing the body downwards as quickly as possible.
- Relocation is Active
Some people fail to make the pull or push under the bar as aggressive as the move to push it upward, and that’s a real mistake. There is no falling, dropping, or catching involved in effective lifting – instead, there is pulling, pushing, squatting, and splitting. If you lack aggression during the relocation phase, you’re not reaching your full potential.
- The Receiving Position Should Be Stable and Strong
You can argue all you want about some things, but what really matters is that you establish the best receiving position to support the weight and stand up with it. This commonly revolves more around personal preference and anatomical idiosyncrasies. Focus on what works for you.
- Consistency is Most Important
You’ll never find two lifters who lift exactly the same way. Styles do differ, for better or worse. In the long term, what’s more important than maintaining absolutely perfect form is maintaining consistency. Your body doesn’t need any surprises – again, do what works for you.