Olympic lifting is without doubt one of the most high-level, skill-based, athletic actions one can carry out. No different fashion of lifting calls for the identical stage 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 recreation. About two months into my teaching profession, I attended the NSCA’s Sport Particular Coaching Convention in Anaheim in January of 2000 and listened to Mike Burgener educate the lifts.
I used to be mesmerized by him and fell in love with each phrase popping out of his mouth (and his distinctive talent of killing all of us in two brief hours with a PVC pipe). I instantly sought him out, and he opened his dwelling and his infinite data to me. I spent the subsequent three years paying visits and helping him at USAW certs.
Not solely does Mike have a long time of knowledge to share, however the cueing he makes use of can someway get a room filled with novices on the identical web page. That’s highly effective. The next are cues it’s possible you’ll or might not have heard when instructing Olympic lifting. Lots of them I’ve created out of necessity. They’re my go-to cues for nearly everybody, and I’ve had great success with every of them.
Cue #1: Ice Water in Your Veins
Olympic lifting is as a lot psychological as it’s bodily. Anybody who has developed proficiency on the Olympic lifts will agree that max makes an attempt may be extremely tense and invoke important ranges of concern.
Due to this fact, many lifters need to get right into a lather previous to going after a heavy try. This often includes screaming and yelling, leaping round, and attempting to make use of aggressiveness to gas the makes an attempt.
I’ve bought some dangerous information for these of you who do that. Realistically, you need to do the precise reverse. Watch high-level weightlifters prepare. All of them have an impassive method to the bar. They’ve mastered a thousand-mile stare.
Over-excitability disrupts the circulate of the motor program. I inform my athletes they should don’t have any emotional connection to the try. After getting efficiently accomplished the carry, go berserk, however not a second sooner.
Ice water in your veins.
Cue #2: Decide to Taking pictures the Elbows
This cue is pure gold should 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 choice that it doesn’t matter what, they will 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 burden, and the arms by no means have interaction. If so with considered one of your athletes, it’s a must to persuade them that the elbows are non-negotiable.
The elbows have to 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 take care of themselves that hell or excessive water, they will shoot the elbows. It really works.
Decide to taking pictures the elbows.
Cue #three: Knuckles Down
The sensation of dropping grip results in a assured failed try, particularly for younger lifters. Issues with grip are a few of the first errors coaches encounter with somebody who’s beginning out. That is with or with out utilizing a hook.
In my expertise with the 1000’s of lifters I’ve labored with, virtually everybody will naturally have their wrists in slight extension after they grip the bar. For those who take a look at the situation of the bar within the hand when the wrists are in any stage of extension, the strain of the bar strikes to the fingertips.
Consider doing a fingertip pull up. It’s ten instances tougher than a full grip pull up. For those who don’t have your knuckles down, you employ the fingertip pull up grip to drag lots of of kilos off of the bottom. Knuckles down does three essential issues:
As a result of it’s a must to now put your wrist into slight flexion, the bar rests within the meat of the palms as a substitute of the fingertips. So out the gate, you might be in a stronger place by advantage of a surer grip. Utilizing a hook grip (like most skilled lifters do) strikes a big portion of the strain off the thumb. The intention of driving your knuckles straight down retains the elbows straight for longer.
Left: Right, knuckles down; Proper: Incorrect. knuckles out.
Cue #four: Drive the Floor Away on the First Pull
The primary pull may be tough for younger lifters as a result of they need to clear their knees for the bar path. If we don’t educate that piece correctly, novice lifters will both grind the shins with the bar or drive the knees again with out lifting the hips up. Regardless that we undergo a complete part serving to these athletes conceptualize the necessity to clear the knees, in lots of situations it nonetheless will get muddy.
Fascinated by 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 excellent place and are in a position to transition successfully.
Drive the bottom away on the primary pull.
Cue #5: Shrug Your self Down
It took me a number of years to lastly educate 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 ability ends.”
Till 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. Within the outdated days, we’d educate the children that the shrug was the last-ditch try and get vertical carry on the bar.
Now, regardless that we perceive that the shrug helps convey the bar up a smidge larger and buys us a fraction of a second extra time to get down, we educate the shrug is the purpose the place the drop to catch begins.
You probably have 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 Nook
I studied Baguazhang for lots of years and was an offensive lineman for 13 years. The “bridge” (or what we’ve come to consult with because the again bridge bar) is that this imaginary bar that covers the rear of the athlete from shoulder to shoulder.
If you end up attempting to achieve a leverage benefit in a decent area towards an opponent, you’ve gotten a substantial benefit should you can manipulate their bridge by pushing and pulling to achieve 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 achieve 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 possibly can use a light-weight fixture or one thing like that in case your arrange is dramatically totally different. If this bridge concept doesn’t resonate with you, the bottom of the neck is one thing all of us can perceive. Both method, for a profitable catch, we would like the hips to complete and achieve full extension into slight hyperextension to ship the bar.
Throw your bridge to the nook.
Cue #7: Catch Like a Mountain
What number of instances have you ever caught a clear, solely to be buckled by the burden when you and the bar meet? It occurs so much, 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 drawback that they have to be a mountain on the backside. Full stress all through the physique will permit their construction to tolerate the load. The visible of a mountain offers them the texture of one thing huge and strong. Most novices suppose they’re having a way hiccup when in actuality, they only have to suppose robust. I get practically excellent outcomes from this cue.
Catch like a mountain.
Cue #eight: Really feel Your Obliques within the Squat
This one struck me a number of months in the past once I was attempting to generate better levels of stress in my vertical urgent. I’ve had a number of again accidents previously, 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 the whole movement feels.
On the ascent from the underside of the squat, most of us must chase our heart and energy via a really deep ass-to-grass squat. Then you definitely get up to now, really feel on your obliques. Draw your consideration to your obliques and lock them down, making a pillar of construction on your midline. Once you take your consideration to your obliques, there’s a stage of an elevated feeling of stability as you rise up.
Really feel your obliques within the squat.
All of us have some quirky cues to get what we want out of our athletes. These are just some of mine.
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