Olympic Lifting Form Vids

I’ve been weight lifting for a few months now and have reached a few points where some advice on my form would do my some good.
My snatches seem to be coming along okay. The biggest problem I have seems to be just being intimidated by the weight.

My main problem seems to be with my squat jerks. I’ve got injuries in both knees from motorcycle crashes and split jerks are just out of the question for me. My squat jerk is suffering though because I can’t find a way to feel natural getting under the bar. I sometimes make it feel really easy, and other times it ends up too far in front or too far back behind me.

At 55kg bodyweight my stats are currently
62.5kg snatch
70kg Clean and Jerk
Snatch is going up on each workout lately, but CnJ seems but be severely limited because I can’t get the jerk down properly.

These are the youtube links to several of my training videos.

Squat Jerk 135lbs

Snatch60kg

Power Jerk 70kg(I messed up when I uploaded it)

Squat Jerks

Really brutal clean–>front squat combo

balance work on jerk-grip OH squats

What is your front squat poundage at? This is really a key factor as it helps with the recovery of the clean.

That’s the way a full squat jerk is–theoretically, you can lift more weight with it, because the upward displacement of the bar doesn’t have to be as high, but you lose a lot of the stability you’d get from a split jerk.

2 ideas:
First, you’re catching the weight high and riding it down on most of your reps. Maybe start with a push jerk and progressively lower the depth you drop to?

Second, do you do a lot of drop snatches? It’s a similar movement, and might help with the confidence needed to drop quickly under the bar.

[quote]gainera2582 wrote:
What is your front squat poundage at? This is really a key factor as it helps with the recovery of the clean.[/quote]

I don’t know what my front squat poundage it. I’ve never really worked them much besides when I’ve absolutely got to.
I can rep out 135 easy enough.

And if it counts for anything, my back squat hovers between 280-330lbs, depending on how much I train it.

[quote]Sneaky weasel wrote:
That’s the way a full squat jerk is–theoretically, you can lift more weight with it, because the upward displacement of the bar doesn’t have to be as high, but you lose a lot of the stability you’d get from a split jerk.[/quote]
Really? I had no clue about more weight being able to be used.

[quote]Sneaky weasel
2 ideas:
First, you’re catching the weight high and riding it down on most of your reps. Maybe start with a push jerk and progressively lower the depth you drop to?[/quote]
I tried that, but then it just turns into a power jerk on all my reps and I can’t really drop lower, I either make it or I don’t.

[quote]Sneaky weasel
Second, do you do a lot of drop snatches? It’s a similar movement, and might help with the confidence needed to drop quickly under the bar.[/quote]
It’s sort of a similiar movement, but starting out from the back and also having a wider grip makes it completely different.

Is there any way I can just straight up get more flexible in my torso and shoulders?

It doesn’t look like you’re flexible enough to do a full squat jerk. Maybe a hybrid squat/power ala Dimas would be better…

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
Is there any way I can just straight up get more flexible in my torso and shoulders?
[/quote]

Yep…move your grip out. You don’t have to jerk with the same grip you pull with.

A couple of other observations:

  • I’m not convinced about your start position. Your knees look like they’re over the bar, i.e. they’re getting in the way of the first pull and shifting the weight too far forwards.

  • Your hips rise before your shoulders, shifting the weight towards the front of your foot. You end up having to jump forwards to receive the bar.

  • Take your time to set up properly, get everything tight, get the weight towards your heels. At the moment everything looks a bit loose and half-hearted.

  • Pull under your snatches/cleans harder. Be aggressive. Don’t float under.“It’s not: (a) Extend your legs. (b) extend your hips. (c) rise up on your toes. (d) perform a shrug. (e) drop into a squat. (f) push up and lock out the bar. It’s about (a) SquueeeezzzecrankfasterBAMdowntight. One movement…” - Jim Hooper

  • Use your head in your jerks. By that I mean push it forwards to tighten up your traps. The Chinese also suggest looking down in the bottom position (notice Zhang doing this). They say you should feel the weight at the bottom of your sternum.

  • It doesn’t look like you’re using the hook grip…You may be, but if you’re not start doing it now.

Your power jerk looks much better than your squat jerk by the way - it looks like you actually want to get under the bar, whereas your squat jerks look a bit more like you just want to try and avoid dropping it on your head. The intent is much better, and your lockout is much snappier and punchier. Is there a reason why you’re not just power jerking all the time?

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
gainera2582 wrote:
What is your front squat poundage at? This is really a key factor as it helps with the recovery of the clean.

I don’t know what my front squat poundage it. I’ve never really worked them much besides when I’ve absolutely got to.
I can rep out 135 easy enough.

And if it counts for anything, my back squat hovers between 280-330lbs, depending on how much I train it.[/quote]

You should be training the front squat more frequently. It should be close to your back squat(around 240-250). The stronger you are in that lift, the better your cleans will get.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Move your grip out. You don’t have to jerk with the same grip you pull with.[/quote]

I find the idea of changing grips between the clean and the jerk to be really daunting. My coach already suggested this and I just can’t really see how it can be done

[quote]ninearms wrote:
I’m not convinced about your start position. Your knees look like they’re over the bar, i.e. they’re getting in the way of the first pull and shifting the weight too far forwards.[/quote]

I just recently got some Rogue weightlifting shoes, they really just push my knees out more. I don’t know of any way to get tight against the bar without my knees pushing out a bit.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Your hips rise before your shoulders, shifting the weight towards the front of your foot. You end up having to jump forwards to receive the bar.[/quote]

What’s a good way to remedy this?

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Take your time to set up properly, get everything tight, get the weight towards your heels. At the moment everything looks a bit loose and half-hearted.[/quote]

So try and see the lift in my mind before I make it and then lift as explosively as I can?

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Pull under your snatches/cleans harder. Be aggressive. Don’t float under.“It’s not: (a) Extend your legs. (b) extend your hips. (c) rise up on your toes. (d) perform a shrug. (e) drop into a squat. (f) push up and lock out the bar. It’s about (a) SquueeeezzzecrankfasterBAMdowntight. One movement…” - Jim Hooper[/quote]

I think I’m at the point in the game where I either don’t finish the 1st pull and dive under it really fast or I don’t finish it and get under it a little bit slower. I suppose more practice should remedy this.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Use your head in your jerks. By that I mean push it forwards to tighten up your traps. The Chinese also suggest looking down in the bottom position (notice Zhang doing this). They say you should feel the weight at the bottom of your sternum.[/quote]

So I should push my head forward. Won’t that make me look at the ground? I’ve been caoched to NEVER look at the ground.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
It doesn’t look like you’re using the hook grip…You may be, but if you’re not start doing it now.[/quote]

My hands are too small to use a hook grip effectively. My thumb barely makes contact with my fingertips around the barbell.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Your power jerk looks much better than your squat jerk by the way - it looks like you actually want to get under the bar, whereas your squat jerks look a bit more like you just want to try and avoid dropping it on your head. The intent is much better, and your lockout is much snappier and punchier. Is there a reason why you’re not just power jerking all the time?
[/quote]

The reason I’m trying to learn the squat jerk over the power jerk is that I feel that the power jerk will limit me in the weight I can do whereas with a squat jerk I have more freedom to get under the bar.

I really can’t say for sure which one would be better for me, but doing a squat jerk just seems to make more sense than a power jerk to each my highest potential?

And I’m not scared of dropping the load on myself really, I’m just scared of dropping it period.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
Move your grip out. You don’t have to jerk with the same grip you pull with.

I find the idea of changing grips between the clean and the jerk to be really daunting. My coach already suggested this and I just can’t really see how it can be done
[/quote]

It just takes a bit of practice. As you recover your cleans just give the bar a little pop at the top so that it leaves your shoulders enough to slide your hands out.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
I’m not convinced about your start position. Your knees look like they’re over the bar, i.e. they’re getting in the way of the first pull and shifting the weight too far forwards.

I just recently got some Rogue weightlifting shoes, they really just push my knees out more. I don’t know of any way to get tight against the bar without my knees pushing out a bit.
[/quote]

Try pushing your hips back more and arching harder. Think “big chest”. You should feel the tension in your hamstrings and the weight on your heels before you break the bar off the floor. A slightly wider stance might help - I can’t see from the video how wide it is at the moment. Also, you don’t want to be tight against the bar. The bar should be over the base of your toes.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
Your hips rise before your shoulders, shifting the weight towards the front of your foot. You end up having to jump forwards to receive the bar.

What’s a good way to remedy this?
[/quote]

  1. Get tight at the start and stay tight off the floor. If your first pull is off everything else will be off.
  2. Use your lats to pull the bar towards you as soon as it’s past your knees. A good drill is to do pulls to mid thigh - start with 40kg and do them slowly so you can get a feel for the positions.
  3. Be patient. Don’t extend too early. If you get your hips through too early you’ll send the bar forwards rather than upwards.
  4. Turn your elbows out so they point towards the collars.
  5. Hook grip.
  6. Cock your wrists towards you a little.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
Take your time to set up properly, get everything tight, get the weight towards your heels. At the moment everything looks a bit loose and half-hearted.

So try and see the lift in my mind before I make it and then lift as explosively as I can?
[/quote]

No, I just mean be methodical and precise about your setup. Take a second to get your feet in exactly the right spot, set your grip and make sure it’s secure, get your shoulders over the bar, turn your elbows out, tighten your lats, push your hips back, tighten your lower back, big breath, use your hamstrings to pull your hips down into the starting position, break the bar off the floor.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
Pull under your snatches/cleans harder. Be aggressive. Don’t float under.“It’s not: (a) Extend your legs. (b) extend your hips. (c) rise up on your toes. (d) perform a shrug. (e) drop into a squat. (f) push up and lock out the bar. It’s about (a) SquueeeezzzecrankfasterBAMdowntight. One movement…” - Jim Hooper

I think I’m at the point in the game where I either don’t finish the 1st pull and dive under it really fast or I don’t finish it and get under it a little bit slower. I suppose more practice should remedy this.
[/quote]

Practice will indeed help. Try doing cleans/snatch from an upright hang - no dip, just pull under as hard as you can and shift your feet out a little. If you do these with just the bar as part of your warmup you should become much faster under the bar.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
Use your head in your jerks. By that I mean push it forwards to tighten up your traps. The Chinese also suggest looking down in the bottom position (notice Zhang doing this). They say you should feel the weight at the bottom of your sternum.

So I should push my head forward. Won’t that make me look at the ground? I’ve been caoched to NEVER look at the ground.
[/quote]

Push it forwards so you can get your traps tighter. You don’t have to look down, but if you squat jerk it might make a difference.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
ninearms wrote:
It doesn’t look like you’re using the hook grip…You may be, but if you’re not start doing it now.

My hands are too small to use a hook grip effectively. My thumb barely makes contact with my fingertips around the barbell.
[/quote]

You can always do what the smaller guys like Mutlu do and grow your thumb nail.

[quote]Annwyn wrote:
And I’m not scared of dropping the load on myself really, I’m just scared of dropping it period.
[/quote]

Have you ever been taught how to miss? If you know how to miss properly there’s no reason to worry about dropping it.

[quote]
ninearms wrote:
It just takes a bit of practice. As you recover your cleans just give the bar a little pop at the top so that it leaves your shoulders enough to slide your hands out.[/quote]

This is one bit of advice I’ll most likely end of forfeiting, sorry. I’ve got a weird shaped clavicle from a break a while back. Just doing those clean/front squat combos from yesterday has it so tender that wearing a shirt is painful, I can’t even put on a bra.

That and my idol, Cara Heads, does it with a pretty narrow grip as well. I think just a bit of dedication and persistance will go a long ways. And perhaps if I absolutely have to, knee wraps could help me work into split jerks.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Try pushing your hips back more and arching harder. Think “big chest”. You should feel the tension in your hamstrings and the weight on your heels before you break the bar off the floor. A slightly wider stance might help - I can’t see from the video how wide it is at the moment. Also, you don’t want to be tight against the bar. The bar should be over the base of your toes. [/quote]

My stance is slightly inside of shoulder width. It’s been there for about a month, I’m new really so I guess moving it out at all wouldn’t hurt it. When I first started cleans I had an even narrower stance(because I squatted narrow) and I didn’t bother spreading the feet out. THis is a video from when I was just starting:

My observation is that I seemed to have better form than I do now which is highly ironic. The reason I switched is because my elbows were dangerously close to my knees.

The way I used to deadlift was the same width as my squat, so that my squat could benefit my deadlift and my deadlift could benefit the squat. Then I started OLY lifting…

Is it really essential that I spread my feet out? I thought that pulling with a narrower stance allowed you to pull harder, but I see quite a few FAST lifters who don’t change their stance at all throughout the lift.

Blah, that was a long rant. My apologies.

But one more question. Should the knees fully extend first or the hips?

[quote]
ninearms wrote:

  1. Get tight at the start and stay tight off the floor. If your first pull is off everything else will be off.
    2) Use your lats to pull the bar towards you as soon as it’s past your knees. A good drill is to do pulls to mid thigh - start with 40kg and do them slowly so you can get a feel for the positions.
  2. Be patient. Don’t extend too early. If you get your hips through too early you’ll send the bar forwards rather than upwards.
    4) Turn your elbows out so they point towards the collars.
  3. Hook grip.
  4. Cock your wrists towards you a little.[/quote]

Turn the elbows out. Do you have any video demonstrations for pulling with the lats as opposed to not and turning the elbows out as opposed to not?

[quote]
ninearms wrote:
No, I just mean be methodical and precise about your setup. Take a second to get your feet in exactly the right spot, set your grip and make sure it’s secure, get your shoulders over the bar, turn your elbows out, tighten your lats, push your hips back, tighten your lower back, big breath, use your hamstrings to pull your hips down into the starting position, break the bar off the floor.[/quote]

I really will try my best to work on that and get some updated videos. I can’t really work out till thursday, DAMN WORK AND COLLEGE.

[quote]
ninearms wrote:
Practice will indeed help. Try doing cleans/snatch from an upright hang - no dip, just pull under as hard as you can and shift your feet out a little. If you do these with just the bar as part of your warmup you should become much faster under the bar.[/quote]

Coach had me doing that the other day. I think I’ll start doing these at the regular gym I go to, evne though that place doesn’t have bumper plates or anything fun>.>

My main routine when I can’t get to coach’s is just basic form drills proceeded by a lower body strength routine that I basicly get to be in control of. For the next few weeks though, I really just plan to do OH squats and work on my cleans and drop snatches.

Thank you very much for all your help and support so far.
I’m making a list actually, I’ll be handing it to my coach and telling him that he needs to make sure I’m doing everything on the list.
Plus I’ll be delivering vids as soon as possible.

Cara jerks with her pinkie on the rings, which is pretty wide. She pulls with her pinkie about 3 inches from the rings then repositions her hands at the top (she has the right proportions to do it without popping the bar up).

My left clavicle sticks out more than the right, so it’s pretty much permanently bruised and partially numb. A wider grip is much better than a narrow one for me because it shifts the pressure out onto my shoulders.

Don’t think about extending your knees. Get them out of the way during the first pull then forget about them. They’ll do what they should be doing automatically if you do everything else right.

I don’t have any videos showing the lats/elbows things, but think of them like this:

If your elbows are turned towards the collars the bar will stay closer, because it’s physically impossible to curl the weight from that position - if you bend your arms with the elbows turned towards the collars they’ll stay over the bar and the bar will move upwards. If your elbows aren’t turned out when you bend your arms the bar will move away from you, which will make it feel heavier and harder to receive.

The aim is to keep the bar as close to your body as possible, because the closer it is the lighter it feels and the easier it is to receive. If you don’t contract your lats to draw the bar in after it’s passed your knees your shoulders will most likely end up behind the bar way too early and you’ll send it forwards when you extend. Do the pulls to mid thigh - when the bar passes your kness focus on using your lats to pull the bar in until it meets your mid thigh, then hold that position for a few seconds to learn how it should feel. Now repeat it but don’t draw the bar in - notice how different it feels.

Thank you.

I’ll take a wider clean grip. Would I be better off taking a wider grip on snatch as well?

And something Cara told me is to get my personal life in order so I can just focus on lifting and not, “lift more than the weight on the bar.”

That finally happened last night -big smile-. So like, hopefully I’ll be able to focus more on lifting now.

I never got an answer on this. Should the knees or the hips extend first in the pull?

My coach always insists on the knees which is why my hips come up before my shoulders, something about a double knee bend.

Your power clean and front squat form look great! I like the ATG

I think you’re misunderstanding that then: the knees extend first, but the hips and torso remain locked in their orientation off the floor until the bar clears the knees. Hips should NEVER come up before shoulders.

ninearms wrote:
It doesn’t look like you’re using the hook grip…You may be, but if you’re not start doing it now.

My hands are too small to use a hook grip effectively. My thumb barely makes contact with my fingertips around the barbell.

If suleymanoglu (aka pocket hercules, google his vids) can hook grip so can you.

Your thumb does not have to reach around the whole bar, your index and middle finger will overlap with your thumb…and chalk up too, it helps.

I’ll work on keeping my torso tight then.

And thanks about the form compliment, I will hopefully be doing even better after I make these adjustments to my lifts.