T Nation

Oly Lifts Flexibility

I am trying to stop doing the crappy form power cleans and hang cleans you see in a high school weight room and, start honestly cleaning the weight the way I should. I have lowered the weights I use and, I am focusing on my technique,speed, and also trying to get used to a hook grip.

But, my biggest problem is flexibility. It seems my hips are not flexible enough to get up and under the bar fast enough and also my wrists and shoulders dont seem to have the flexibility to rack the bar vey well. Are there any suggestions to how to make these muscles more flexible for the Oly Lifts. Thanks

Yeah man, I’ve been there.

  1. Keep practicing and be patient, it doesn’t come overnight. I know this sounds like duh! but you really gotta go at it.

  2. isometric stretches with weights, take a relatively light weight (60-80kg), sink down in the bottom of a squat, stay there and keep tight, and let the hips sink. Same thing for the romanian deadlift to stretch the hams. Those two stretches should cover your lower body. Oh, and stretch the hip flexors statically in between.

  3. As for wrist and shoulder flexibility: for the wrist just keep doing front squats, and dorsal flex the hands under the bar. This will come, trust me! As for the shoulders: broomstick dislocates always helped me.

  4. Practice each day: just sit in a full squat every once in a while. Do an overhead squat behind the desk, you get my point. Practice the positions specific for what you want to improve.

The isometric stretching helped me the most.

A nice ankle and hip stretch is to place an empty barbell 2 inches above your knees while descending into a full squat postion. This really helps stretch the hips and ankles out so you can achieve full depth.

Another is to put your heel as close to a rack as possible, push the balls of your feet through the rack and down while bending the knee. This will stretch the achilles tendon.

If you want further info on how to do this, google the weightlifting encylopedia video and watch the entire 3 hrs.


Dan John’s book will help. Trust me.

Also, it’s quite entertaining and… Free!

Don’t forget to stretch your calves and achilles.
If they’re tight, then your hips will need to be even more flexible, and your knee and foot positions will be restricted.

Try dynamic stretching for the hips, it helped me be able to drop down under the bar on the catch

Other things to do:

  • Arm windmills, start slow and slowly increase the speed
  • OHS with the bar. Move your grip in an inch every 5 reps until you’re a good inch or two inside your snatch grip. Sit in the bottom for a good 20 secs on the last rep of each set.
  • Leg swings.
  • Work on your upper back with a foam roller and a pair of lacrosse or tennis balls in a sock.
  • Goblet squats, really pushing your knees out with your elbows, keeping your chest up, and sinking the hips down.
  • Don’t grip the bar when you have it racked across your shoulders, have your hand open.
  • Set up a bar in a power rack (or use the smith) as though you were going to front squat it. Grab the bar, rotate your elbows around so the bar’s racked on your shoulders, and have someone gently push up on your elbows while you resist them. You can also do this in the bottom position.
  • Broomstick and band dislocates. Start wide and gradually bring your grip in as you get more flexible.

thank you guys alot I will start adding these stretchs and exercises into my program starting today.