Positioning and speed are key to successful Olympic lifts, Coach Mike Burgener says during this CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Trainer Course.
Off the floor, sweep the bar back, but without touching the shins.
“I have got to get the bar in the right position so that I can gather my speed,” Burgener explains. “It’s critical. If you try to pull a barbell up, you will fail when the weight gets heavy. If you get the bar in the right position so I can use the stretch reflexes, I will not fail. You will lift the weight that you’re capable of lifting.”
The weight should be lifted off the ground with the legs—not the back, he emphasizes. After take-off, the bar will automatically hit “the pockets.” When the hips open, that’s when the explosion happens.
“It’s not slow, though,” he cautions. “It’s balls out.”
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Additional reading: Oly Optimization by Chad Vaughn, published Nov. 18, 2011.