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building up to olympic lifts

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:11 am
by robertscott
olympic lifts are something I've aspired to do for a while now, particularly the snatch.

I'm laid up with an injury the now, but am champing at the bit to get back to work.

My question is: what should i work on prior to doing the snatch, i mean obviously the best way to do it is just to do it, but is there some kind of progression?

My flexibility is pretty terrible, so are there any particular stretches i should do to make sure I've got the right ROM?

cheers guys

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:37 am
by amivan
the progression to doing the snatch would be.... probably some cardio or something that will get your blood pumping and get you loosened up (no static stretching!!!!).
stretch your entire body after workouts or before bed, static stretches held for 1 minute for the optimal effect.

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:52 am
by robertscott
aye my belated new year resolution is to warm up more

it's my shoulder flexibility for the snatch that worries me, but i guess i won't know til i try

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:25 am
by TimD
Overhead squats are going to be your bread and butter. This is a flexibility exercise more than anything else. Ankles, hips, shoulders, while strengthening the trunk. Dan John recommends this one as a total body exerise believe it or not. Combine this with snatch grip behind neck presses, pushpresses and you are working on total flexibility in the shoulder girdle.

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:32 pm
by TheHeb
Second what Tim said. Be careful not to start too heavy, especially the behind the neck press. Also, try some shoulder dislocates. Here's a link if you're unfamiliar: ... cates.html

EDIT: Fixed link. Thanks Stephen.

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:47 pm
by scs217
I agree with Tim as well. OH squats will teach the balance and work out a lot of the flexibility that you will need. Other exercises that will help are RDL's with correct form (learn to extend your hips properly), snatch grip deadlifts, and then partial movement drills. What I mean by that is jump shrugs, snatches starting at mid thigh, then at the knee, below the knee, and eventually from the floor.

Once you have the snatch down, the clean is considerably easier to learn, and the jerk is easier still.

Crossfit has excellent videos, I recommend them very highly.

Work on form as attentively as you can, and either have a coach, or videotape your self to critique the movements. We'll help look them over if you post to youtube.

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:37 pm
by Jungledoc

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:31 pm
by TimD
That's an interesting program he has there. I like it, however, for needed flexibility tio even get the bar overhead, IMHO anyway, you need the overhead squats and the snatch balance (behind neck pushpressing while dropping into an overhead squat) for shoulder girdle, ankle and hip flexibilty. If nothing else, use them as a warmup with light weight prior to the suggested workout.. Another good move is the "warrior stretch", holding a bar above your head in a wide to medium grip, do split squats or lunges.

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:35 am
by robertscott
some good advice there guys, thanks. Cheers also Jungledoc for those articles, I'll check those out.

I think the shoulder flexibility is going to be an issue, especially the behind the neck push press. My shoulders are supple as a brick but you reckon those overhead squats'll sort that out?

Also I just want to be clear on this: i should start with the bar on my shoulders, kind of like when doing a back squat, push press it up and when it's up there drop down into an overhead squat? Kind of like a snatch only with the bar starting behind my head?

Another thing related to my wasted shoulders: is the snatch a good alternative for overhead pressing? The reason i ask is overhead pressing is very much my shoulder exercise of choice but it's not doing me any good with regard to rotator cuff issues/inflexibility.

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:41 am
by Stephen Johnson
TheHeb wrote:Second what Tim said. Be careful not to start too heavy, especially the behind the neck press. Also, try some shoulder dislocates. Here's a link if you're unfamiliar: ... cates.html
Your link didn't work - putting a period immediately after a hyperlink invalidates it. But good stuff.

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:02 am
by TimD
For shoulder flex issues, to prepare for snatching, overhead squats with a PVC and dislocates with a towel or PVC will work fine. Once you're ready, start pressing B/Neck with a PVC and a snatch grip. Finally, press the bar up, OHS it down, let the bar down to shoulders while in the deep squat, pres it back up and squa bak up. Also, check out in the vid/demo section, and check out the "Burgner warm up".

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:56 am
by robertscott
ok, i think I've got that.

cheers tim