The Set-Up or Start Position for Olympic Lifting

Today, we had a 1 RM Snatch programmed for today’s Strength, and hopefully a lot of you were able to use some time to work on form and technique, and maybe even took home a little gold nugget of knowledge.

I’d like to share a great article with you written by Greg Everett, Owner of Catalyst Athletics, and a very well-known and well-respected coach and writer in the Olympic lifting world.

I have been doing this long enough now that I can tell 9/10 times if an athlete is going to make or miss a lift just based off of his/her start position, before he/she has even attempted to lift it.

When attempting to do Olympic lifting, the problem we have as CrossFitters is that we are used to doing Snatches and Cleans for high reps under intensity, like “Randy” 75 Power Snatch For Time, and “Grace” 30 Clean & Jerks For Time. We are also used to the Deadlift set up, and we mistakenly (although, completely understandably) transfer the Deadlift set up into our Olympic lifting.

The Deadlift is NOT the Clean or Snatch. And, how we execute CrossFit workouts is NOT how we should execute Olympic lifting.

They are different beasts.

One of the many habits starts from the ground - The start position, where all the magic, or disaster, begins! If you don’t have the right set-up in your start position for a 1 RM Clean or Snatch, then everything else will, uhh, not work as well.

We actually need to have more of an upright posture in the start position. AAAAND, it will be slightly different for everyone depending on the length of your arms, legs, and torso. This is where having an experienced Oly coach is imperative! You can’t teach yourself Olympic lifting. Get a coach! :-)

Alright, so I’ve talked too much already, and Greg Everett’s article, while rich with knowledge and helpful coaching cues, is also dense and long. But, I strongly encourage you to read through it all. Especially if you really want to get better at your Olympic lifts.

Start with your set up.


Also, watch this amazing video of Lu Xiaojun in slow motion, and pay close attention to his start position:

Kara PurvesComment