Olympic lifting is likely one of the most high-level, skill-based, athletic actions one can carry out. No different model of lifting calls for the identical degree of coordination, focus, and element than a heavy clear and jerk or snatch.
Olympic lifts require teaching cues to develop correct motor patterns
I’ve been extremely fortunate in my teaching profession to have been introduced up by some true masters within the sport. About two months into my teaching profession, I attended the NSCA’s Sport Specific Training Conference in Anaheim in January of 2000 and listened to Mike Burgener train the lifts.
I used to be mesmerized by him and fell in love with each phrase popping out of his mouth (and his distinctive ability of killing all of us in two quick hours with a PVC pipe). I instantly sought him out, and he opened his house and his infinite data to me. I spent the following three years paying visits and aiding him at USAW certs.
Not solely does Mike have a long time of knowledge to share, however the cueing he makes use of can in some way get a room filled with novices on the identical web page. That’s highly effective. The following are cues it’s possible you’ll or might not have heard when educating Olympic lifting. Many of them I’ve created out of necessity. They are my go-to cues for nearly everybody, and I’ve had large success with every of them.
Cue #1: Ice Water in Your Veins
Olympic lifting is as a lot psychological as it’s bodily. Anyone who has developed proficiency on the Olympic lifts will agree that max makes an attempt will be extremely irritating and invoke vital ranges of worry.
Therefore, many lifters wish to get right into a lather previous to going after a heavy try. This normally includes screaming and yelling, leaping round, and making an attempt to make use of aggressiveness to gas the makes an attempt.
I’ve acquired some dangerous information for these of you who do that. Realistically, you wish to do the precise reverse. Watch high-level weightlifters practice. They all have an impassive strategy to the bar. They have mastered a thousand-mile stare.
Over-excitability disrupts the movement of the motor program. I inform my athletes they should haven’t any emotional connection to the try. Once you’ve got efficiently accomplished the raise, go berserk, however not a second sooner.
Ice water in your veins.
Cue #2: Commit to Shooting the Elbows
This cue is pure gold in case you’re working with a lifter who isn’t getting their elbows across the full distance after they catch. I see it fifty instances a day. Lifters have to make a proper determination that it doesn’t matter what, they’ll shoot the elbows the total distance as quick as they’ll.
In some makes an attempt, you will notice lifters do the precise reverse. They’ve virtually resigned themselves to the truth that they’ll’t get the load, and the arms by no means have interaction. If that is the case with one among your athletes, it’s a must to persuade them that the elbows are non-negotiable.
The elbows should be computerized and they should end with tempo. So pull your athletes apart and persuade them that even earlier than they contact the bar, they should make a cope with themselves that hell or excessive water, they’ll shoot the elbows. It works.
Commit to taking pictures the elbows.
Cue #three: Knuckles Down
The feeling of dropping grip results in a assured failed try, particularly for younger lifters. Problems with grip are a few of the first errors coaches encounter with somebody who’s beginning out. This is with or with out utilizing a hook.
In my expertise with the hundreds of lifters I’ve labored with, virtually everybody will naturally have their wrists in slight extension after they grip the bar. If you have a look at the situation of the bar within the hand when the wrists are in any degree of extension, the stress of the bar strikes to the fingertips.
Think of doing a fingertip pull up. It’s ten instances tougher than a full grip pull up. If you don’t have your knuckles down, you utilize the fingertip pull up grip to drag lots of of kilos off of the bottom. Knuckles down does three vital issues:
- Because it’s a must to now put your wrist into slight flexion, the bar rests within the meat of the fingers as an alternative of the fingertips. So out the gate, you’re in a stronger place by advantage of a surer grip.
- Using a hook grip (like most skilled lifters do) strikes a big portion of the stress off the thumb.
- The intention of driving your knuckles straight down retains the elbows straight for longer.
Left: Correct, knuckles down; Right: Incorrect. knuckles out.
Cue #four: Drive the Ground Away on the First Pull
The first pull will be tough for younger lifters as a result of they wish to clear their knees for the bar path. If we don’t train that piece correctly, novice lifters will both grind the shins with the bar or drive the knees again with out lifting the hips up. Even although we undergo an entire part serving to these athletes conceptualize the necessity to clear the knees, in lots of situations it nonetheless will get muddy.
Thinking about driving the ground away whereas standing up with the bar organizes not solely muscular coordination that matches the duty, but in addition clears the knees from the bar. Lifters find yourself in an ideal place and are in a position to transition successfully.
Drive the bottom away on the primary pull.
Cue #5: Shrug Yourself Down
It took me a number of years to lastly train the third pull. I discovered that the minute you inform your athletes to drag themselves below the bar, they inevitably start to drag with their arms throughout the second pull. And as Coach B says, “When the elbow bends, the power ends.”
Until this cue got here alongside, I had come to the conclusion that if I used to be solely going to be working with inexperienced persons to intermediates, I used to be not going to show the third pull. In the previous days, we’d train the children that the shrug was the last-ditch try to get vertical raise on the bar.
Now, though we perceive that the shrug helps convey the bar up a smidge greater and buys us a fraction of a second extra time to get down, we train the shrug is the purpose the place the drop to catch begins.
If you’ve got a lifter who’s keen and in a position to snap their shrug – as they need to be – you possible could have an athlete who’s keen and in a position to drop into their catch quick. Win-win.
Shrug your self down.
Cue #6: Throw Your Bridge to the Corner
I studied Baguazhang for lots of years and was an offensive lineman for 13 years. The “bridge” (or what we’ve got come to discuss with because the again bridge bar) is that this imaginary bar that covers the rear of the athlete from shoulder to shoulder.
When you are attempting to realize a leverage benefit in a decent area towards an opponent, you’ve got a substantial benefit in case you can manipulate their bridge by pushing and pulling to realize management of their higher physique. Wrestlers, linemen, and BJJ fighters will know what I’m speaking about, even when our terminology differs.
Know the bridge, throw the bridge to realize a greater hip extension
To get a lifter to complete their hips, we clarify the bridge after which instruct them to throw their bridge to the nook of the room the place the wall and roof meet. As an FYI, the platforms in my facility are up towards the wall, near the nook of the room.
You might use a light-weight fixture or one thing like that in case your arrange is dramatically completely different. If this bridge concept doesn’t resonate with you, the bottom of the neck is one thing all of us can perceive. Either means, for a profitable catch, we wish the hips to complete and acquire full extension into slight hyperextension to ship the bar.
Throw your bridge to the nook.
Cue #7: Catch Like a Mountain
How many instances have you ever caught a clear, solely to be buckled by the load when you and the bar meet? It occurs lots, particularly with novice lifters. They spend all their vitality pulling, in order that they soften on the backside of the catch and fold up.
I inform lifters who’ve this downside that they should be a mountain on the backside. Full stress all through the physique will enable their construction to tolerate the load. The visible of a mountain offers them the texture of one thing huge and stable. Most novices suppose they’re having a method hiccup when in actuality, they simply have to suppose robust. I get practically good outcomes from this cue.
Catch like a mountain.
Cue #eight: Feel Your Obliques within the Squat
This one struck me a number of months in the past after I was making an attempt to generate higher levels of stress in my vertical urgent. I’ve had a number of again accidents up to now, a lot of the tinkering, I do with strategies comes from the necessity to create construction and stability for my again. The extra you compress the same-side indirect to create a column of stability, the stronger your complete movement feels.
On the ascent from the underside of the squat, most of us need to chase our heart and energy by a really deep ass-to-grass squat. Then you get so far, really feel in your obliques. Draw your consideration to your obliques and lock them down, making a pillar of construction in your midline. When you’re taking your consideration to your obliques, there’s a degree of an elevated feeling of stability as you get up.
Feel your obliques within the squat.
We all have some quirky cues to get what we’d like out of our athletes. These are only a few of mine.
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