Who Should Split

By Mike Burgener

In Olympic Lifts, Videos

July 28, 2009

Video Article

Not every athlete should do every version of every lift, Coach Mike Burgener told participants at an Olympic weightlifting certification seminar held March 7-8, 2009 at CrossFit Old Town in Alexandria, Va.

Coach Burgener of Mike’s Gym said he saw only one or two lifters in the room who should become splitters. “Every individual you work with is going to have different needs, different situations. You have to adjust around that,” he said. For example, one athlete he had worked with had long femurs and was told she should never do certain Olympic lifts. But Coach Burgener moved her to the split snatch and got her doing overhead squats and front squats. The process involved stretching her out to get her knees out and torso up.

But Coach Burgener said three athletes at the seminar were “beyond help” when it came to stretching. One was a former football player. He should still do the lifts. The pull is the same. But he should receive the bar in a full lunge, not a full overhead squat.

5min 34sec



6 Comments on “Who Should Split”


wrote …

The question is: How do you know if you are one of those people? I know I've always had flexibility issues and split feels a bit more natural. But I don't know if that means I should just do split or work at flexibility in the OHS position until I can use that.

But another great vid.


Cody Limbaugh wrote …

Holy Schmoly! That was a GEM! Thank you! I emediately had a couple of my athletes come to mind- including myself. One is 6'6" with previous back injuries.
I am still going to develop my OHS flexibility but at least this way I can DO the next snatch WOD that comes up instead of just doing ANOTHER skills practice day!


wrote …

I also feel the split is more natural, especially for jerks. I can do power snatches ok, but doing a full OHS makes my knees cave in just to balance myself. Can this be related to my lack of shoulder flexibility? (I can do back/front/regular squats fine so I don't think it's a leg problem) So I can see using a split snatch, but what movement would I use for an OHS wod then? Any recommendations on stretches besides pulling myself under a weighted bar on a rack? A lot of questions, so thanks in advance!


Gerard Mcauliffe wrote …

I discovered i was a 'splitter' at the Oly cert in Northern Ireland last week. When i started crossfit my shoulder flexibility was terrible and it's only recently i can OHS and 'stack the bones' on a press.
Should i continue to work hard on increasing my shoulder flexibility to be able to receieve the bar in the OHS on the snatch or does it make any real difference? I found my flexibility improved steadily for a few months but hasn't improved much recently.
It's great to have Coach B on the journal again, he is more my kind of Coach than some of the other contibutors recently. He is a different calibre of man to some of the recent experts.


wrote …

if a athlete has shoulder flex problems they may want to consider the split snatch. remember those that have attended my cert i speak of josh everett and i feel we wasted much time trying to improve the sqt snatch (2 yrs) however once we switched to the split josh total when way up----95 kg -122 kg. not bad. i would always continue to work on the sqt and ohs and keep working the sqt snatch, but do not be afraid of switching. the split is a great exercise and needs to be worked for those that have low back, shoulder, ankle, knee, flex issues.


wrote …

I just have to find a way to make it to an Oly Cert. Coach Brugener is the best. Thanks Coach. GO IRISH!

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