Kickass Olympic Lift Article

Hey y’all:

I was surfing around tonight, and I found a damn fine article about snatches, cleans, jerks, etc. I don’t know if everyone has seen this already, but here’s the link:

Oh yeah, here’s another one:

Good stuff for a beginner to the oly lifts like me. I learned a lot tonight.

Thanks lothario1132. I’d been wondering what happened to that info since he died.

Thanks for posting that.

Dumb question: Do the lifters actually stop before the second pull and rest the bar on their thighs or is the lift continuous?

You cannot stop on the snatch at all. On the C&J you can rest it on your shoulders.

This advice on the second pull/double knee bend from Gayle Hatch is very good.


1 Get the right position to start the lift (i.e. neutral back, hips down, chin up, shoulders back). Think posture!

2 Slowly lift the the barbell while keeping the right body position (i.e. don’t let the hips rises too fast). Think strong!

3 Explode upwards! Don’t think about the second pull. Just think fast!

Dan John has a good exercise to teach the second pull (not how to do it, but to learn it). Pull the bar really slowly until the bar reaches the knees (i.e. 2 inches per second). Then when the bar reaches just above the knees explode upwards.

When some one asks me about the O lifts I have them start from blocks set just above the knees. Thus they have to explode from this point to complete the lift. They can’t wind up from teh floor or heave the bar with their arms or lower back. Then when they are comfortable with this, go to lifts that start from the floor.

You will know that your are doing the second pull right when:

1 the bar flys to the catch position (no pressout etc), you should not be lifting the bar after it passes your hips.

2 the bar moves quickly, much quicker than if pulled or pressed with the upper body.

3 the bar feels relatively light. I find a good o lift almost “weightless”, don’t know if this is the right word but you will know the feeling when it happens.

Basic message don’t think about the second pull, just think fast from the knees up!


The “Double Knee Bend”

The mechanical action in the second part of the pull known as the double knee bend or scoop is the result of proper technique and is not a direct conscious act in itself. This action should not be taught. It occurs quite naturally. The athlete has enough problems mastering the correct positions without confusing him with the complexity of the double knee bend.

A brief definition of good technique is correct position at the following key points: start, knee height, and full extension. As the bar passes the knees to begin the second pull, the hamstrings begin to contract strongly and violently causing not only an extension of the hip but also flexion of the knees. This is sometimes referred to as the double knee bend.

Having coached athletes and Olympic weightlifters for thirty years at all levels, ranging from novice to national champions and Olympians, I can personally vouch that the majority of coaches who endeavor to teach the double knee bend fail. To teach this action will result in premature weight transference to the balls of the feet and loss of upward momentum in the phase between the first and second pull. These key points should be kept in mind while executing the pull: phase 1 - leg extension (In the initial pull from the floor, the barbell moves back toward the lifter. This allows a more stable, balanced position from which to exert force), phase 2 - hip extension, phase 3 - jump shrug. Start with feet hip width apart, hips above knees, back flat, shoulders in advance of the bar, arms straight, elbows out. Correct position as bar crosses the knees is extremely important. Leg extension complete, bar over center of feet, back angle constant, arms straight, elbows out, shoulders over bar. At the beginning of the “explosion phase”, the feet are flat, hips extended, arms straight, elbows out. Proper body position at the finish of the pull reflects good technique. Legs and hips extended jump and shrug coordinated. All motion directed up. If the athlete performs other aspects of the movement correctly, then the double knee bend will occur naturally.