Mat Fraser snatch
Source: CrossFit Inc

5 Fixes for your Olympic Lifting Technique

Improve your Olympic lifts with the solutions to these five common problems

Clean up your Olympic lifting technique with these 5 fixes!

  1. Snatch, losing the bar in front or jumping forward: hip snatch
  2. Snatch, losing the bar behind: muscle snatch
  3. Split Jerk, unstable: elbow position
  4. Clean, catching too high: hip clean
  5. Jerk, push presses, forward bar path: weight in heels

There is nothing I love more in the world than weightlifting! No two people lift the same and no two coaches teach the same. There are hundreds, if not thousands of strength drills, speed drills, mobility drills, programs, you name it. All of that…. And it’s just two lifts, the snatch and the clean & jerk.

Snatch olympic lifting technique crossfit male athlete

The Snatch is an excellent full body exercise to build strength

© RX'd Photography

An advanced athlete to me, is someone that can do the basics extremely well and that has precision and consistency. A beginner athlete should only focus on those things. Precision first of all, can you hit every position needed to make a good lift and can you do it at speed? Then could you take a video of 100 lifts and be able to tell them apart? Only really when you have your consistency should you think about loading up, by all means go as heavy as you want in the rack but don’t cut corners with your technique or you’ll get stuck later on down the line! Play the long game!

Strength is cool, technique is cool but both combined are a recipe for success!

Here are some of the common errors I see with lifters all across the board, beginner to advanced and a few things you can add to your practice and warm ups to start hitting some PR’s in the near future! Remember, strength programs aren’t worth a damn if you don’t move well!

1. Snatch, losing the bar in front or jumping forward: hip snatch

Probably the most disheartening one, being under the bar and it just falling in front of your very eyes reminding you of the disappointment you have become as you still sit there in your squat. Missing your “triple extension” will be a massive cause of this, especially for newbies. Wanting to be fast under the bar can cause you to be too fast at the wrong point (a favourite saying of mine is “be fast but don’t rush it”) if you mess up your timing then you’re basically going to have to try to adjust in mid air and that will only get you so far.

You have to remember that when you make contact with the bar, that bar is weightless for a moment and in that moment you have all the time in the world to get under IF you finish your pull and close the hip at the right point (listen for the two sounds). The hip snatch is a great drill for giving you confidence in that position and really lets you see how much power comes from that small hip extension!

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