Teaching the Olympic Lifts - a three part series

This series is dedicated to teaching the Olympic lifts to your clients. I’ve broken it down into three parts:

  1. Assessment, proper positions, and the Golden Rule of Weightlifting
  2. Clean, snatch, and working from the top-down
  3. Jerk and putting it all together

Part 1: Is your client ready?

Shoulder Mobility

Can they flex their shoulder to 180 degrees (see video)? If not, you might want to try these exercises:

  1. Lat Hang
  2. Kettlebell Pullover
  3. Quadruped Walkout
  4. Half Kneeling Landmine Press
  5. Standing Landmine Press

Hip Mobility

Can they squat their butt to their heels? If not, you might want to try these exercises:

  1. Cable-assisted Squat
  2. Plate Squat
  3. Goblet Squat
  4. Front Squat

Bending Technique

Can they pick weights up without rounding their back? Bending their knees? Extending their back? If not, you might want to try these exercises:

  1. RDL to Bench
  2. Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
  3. Barbell Romanian Deadlift
  4. Barbell Deadlift

The Golden Rule of Weightlifting: When your hands are at the knee, your shins should be vertical.

Make these complicated lifts easier to learn by breaking them into bite-sized pieces. Cleans or the snatches right off the bat is like drinking water from a fire hose.

I like to teach The Lifts from the top-down. That is, I will make sure my clients are competent with the Romanian Deadlift before I teach the Deadlift.

Part 2: Learning the Clean and Snatch

Now it’s time to talk about…

  • The clean grip
  • The snatch grip
  • The power position (around mid-thigh)
  • The jump and shrug (did you learn the front squat yet?)
  • The knee position (did you learn the RDL yet?)
  • The floor position (did you learn the deadlift yet?)
  • Linking the pieces of the puzzle together
  • All these movements for the snatch (it’s pretty much the same thing)
  • Why you need to keep your clients loose when they’re learning the lifts
  • “The slot”

Part 3: Learning the Jerk and Putting It All Together

To finish off, we still need to talk about:

  • How to do the split jerk
  • A simple trick to help fix and screw ups
  • Putting the clean and jerk together
  • The progression for the full clean
  • The progression for the full snatch
  • Where to send donuts

That last one is most important so get your notepad ready.

Hope you enjoyed this! If you have questions on the topic, leave them in the comments below. Or you can include a comment card with your donuts.

Breaking down the lifts in this top-down, step-by-step manner changed everything for me. I highly recommend this system if you’re teaching people the Olympic lifts. I’ve even learned how to coach nearly 8 people at a time just after a few days of practice. It’s just movement! Don’t overcomplicate it. Your eye will get better as you watch more lifts.

P.S. If you found this video series helpful, send it to someone who might like it! And tell your significant other that you miss them.

Published by Brandon Brown

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