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olympic questions

Hey all - a question to those in the know…recently started “O” weightlifting and the squats are hurting my hip flexors. actually they are the weak link in the chain and i was wondering if there was anyone who could explain why that is and what i could do about it. i’m pretty sure my technique is fine but any pointer would help. the hip flexors are tight and sore for many days after a squat session. speaking of which - can anyone share what flexibility exercises i can do to prepare for snatching and cleaning. it is tough for me to stick the bottom position in the snatch, full squatting with a loaded barbell held overhead. i’m hoping to compete one day (small scale of course) and any help would be really great. thanks to the forum!!

“Small scale, of course?” Don’t sell yourself short. PS: my hip joints kill me after deads, and I’m trying to figure out why.

I think this is pretty common with the o-lifts, especially the deep front squats and overhead squats. The upright body position stretches the hip flexors a lot more. One good way I’ve found to strengthen this area is doing front squats from a dead bottom position in a power rack (in other words start from the bottom and squat up instead of vice versa). To stretch the area do a good dynamic warm up to get the blood flowing and try deep, deep lunges…also take al ook at coach davies most recent article i believe he has some good lower body stretches in it that will probably serve you well.

I’m kind of in the same boat, as I think most people are when they’re starting out. Some good things to work on are overhead squats with just the bar (go light!). Also, hurdle drills can help with hip flexibility (ducking under, stepping over). Practice good form over heavy loads. And of course, stretch, stretch, stretch! Coach Davies has a good stretching program that was published here on T-mag recently.

Well certainly you are not alone with problems associated with hip flexors and range of motion. This is quite possibly one of the most common problems within training / athletics today. With time it will improve but you need to be extremely persistant. Outside the realm of your lifts and static flexibility you will also need to consider additional dynamic ROM work. Good luck and I hope to hear from you again. In faith, Coach Davies

Dean: I, too, have suffered from chronically tight and sore
hip flexors (the result of an old back injury). Upon returning
to weight training after a lengthy lay-off, I exacerbated this
condition by a routine which included numerous forms of
squatting, lunging, and pressing. (These movements tend
to overwork the hip flexors.) As a result, every time I would
bend over or even sit for any length of time, the hip flexors
would shorten and seize-up, occasionally making a distinctly
audible popping noise.

My solution was to give the opposing muscle group equal or "greater attention!" To stabilize the condition and create balance, the posterior chain (the low back, glutes, and the hamstrings) needs to be emphasized. The sacral joints, which are the opposing area to the hip flexors, need to be worked in order to off-set the shortening of the hip flexors! This can and will be accomplished while training the posterior chain! The movements I have used to achieve this balance are Reverse Hypers, RDL's, SLDL's, Good Mornings, and Conventional + Sumo Deadlifts. Ian King's "limping series" has a wonderful list of 1-legged exercises that can also be of great help!

P.S.This is not a short term solution, but "it" has been nothing short of miraculous for me!

I’ve been strictly O-lifting for the past month, and my hip things are always tight and sore. I figure that my body has to get used to the lifts. I also stretch a little before my workout and alot after. Keep up the O-lifting.

When many lifters start Ol liftting they tend to get tight and/or inflamed hip flexors. It often comes from all the low front squats. Anyway, keep stretching your hip flexors, one really good on is to do lunges with dumbell, but keeping your back leg straight and letting your front knee pass out over your foot this will build flexiblity and stength in the hip flexors.
As far as not being able to lock out your snatches in the bottom possition, this could be many things. I will mention some of the most common.
Not having proper olymic weightlifting shoes which stop you from rolling back on your feet.
not tightning up you back fast enough when receiving the bar in the low possition.
Receiving the bar too far back or too far forward in the low position.
Too much bar drop when receiving the bar in the low possition. This can cause the bar to crash down on you when you receive the bar thus causing you to loose control of the weight. A sure sign of this is that the bar feels like it’s going to break your elbows and shoulders when you catch it even though you’ve locked out already.
So, that’s my input without having ever seen you lift. Write back and give more info on how you miss, to the front or to the back, do you lock out the weight, etc.