Olympic Weightlifting

The 2016 Olympics are well underway and in the spirit of the popular games, BPI Sports wanted to share some tips on how to perform the two competition lifts: the “Snatch” and the “Clean and Jerk.” Athletes have three attempts to perform each Olympic lift and the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a body-weight category.

The Olympic weightlifting sport tests human ballistic limits and explosive strength so the movements are performed faster, with more mobility and range of motion. The videos below share tips on proper form and the steps needed to successfully lift like an Olympic weightlifter.

This Olympic lift requires flexibility, mobility, speed and coordination. BPI Sports athlete, Zachary Kuipers, shows us how to nail the Snatch. There are five steps: The first, which is the preparatory phase, is all about hand placement and spinal alignment. The second step is the first pull, requiring leg drive and upper back strength. Next is the second pull, which takes place when the bar travels past your knees through the hips for a triple extension, for more barbell power and explosion. The fourth step is the catch. You’ll drop to the ground into the bottom of an overhead squat as fast as possible to perform the catch. Finally, the fifth step – the overhead squat. Watch the full video for precise instructions on how to perform the Snatch.

According to BPI Sports athlete, Zachary Kuipers, the Clean and Jerk Olympic weightlifting move can seem complicated. However, if you break it down by steps, it’s more manageable. The first step is the preparatory phase to determine proper hand placement, which should be at shoulder width. Also, when you bend down to a squatting position your knees should slightly touch your wrists. The second step is called the first pull which takes place when the bar travels from the ground to your knees, involving leg drive and upper back strength. The third step known as the second pull is the most important part of the “clean and jerk.” It involves the bar traveling from the knees to your hips, going into triple extension. Step four is the catch, so you drop down to the bottom of front squat position and receive the bar. Step five is the front squat, stand up and get ready for the jerk. For the final phase, dip down slightly, jump the bar up and drop down into a low split-jerk position, catch the bar, show control and stand up with it.