January 01, 2007
Now that we've established the proper grip and set-up stance (CFJ 50 and 51), the next phase in teaching the Olympic lifts is what has become known as the Burgener warm-up. This warm-up consists of six different sequences that are important for learning to perform the Olympic lifts. The Burgener warm-up is performed with a length of PVC pipe or a dowel and specifically trains the second and third pulls of the snatch. Repetition of these six sequences with little or no weight conditions the body to move properly through the power phases of the snatch and the clean and jerk. In subsequent articles, I'll cover skill transfer exercises for the snatch, and the positioning pulls (the first pull off the ground and the scoop) for both lifts.
The essence of the Olympic lifts is creating momentum and elevation on the barbell through a range of motion that begins at the floor and finishes with the bar overhead (in the snatch and the jerk) or racked at the shoulders (in the clean). I recommend incorporating the Burgener warm-up into your daily routine regardless of the workout. It is remarkably effective at teaching and reinforcing the basic concepts of performing the Olympic lifts.