You asked, we answered.
How can I get better at keeping the bar close?
Keeping the bar close is one of the most important parts of the lift for both the snatch and the C&J. I see people day in and day out struggling to do this and not just beginners, the more experienced lifters as well.
If the bar is forwards then you are going to have issues with balancing and may struggle to make the lift.
A great way to train this is to simply add some pulls into your programme. By slowing down the pull or adding in some pauses at the low hang, knee and mid-thigh you are able to work on keeping the bar close to the body, your balance and timing throughout the lift.
To begin with try adding three sets of three at a lightweight, around 70% of your 1RM.
How to not hit my personal area so hard with the bar yet still maintain hip contact?
You shouldn’t be hitting the bar into your hips. You should be bringing your hips and the bar together to help the bar then move in an upward path.
To work on getting the correct balance you can use pulls again, like above, and you could also use muscle snatches or muscle cleans. Using lightweight for the muscle snatches or cleans will help you reinforce the correct contact at the hips. Think about using your legs to drive the bar up rather than slamming the bar into your body. Within your programming start with five sets of three of the muscle snatches or cleans at a lightweight.
Are lifters worth the money? When would be the right time to buy some?
A lot of your fellow training buddies will be wearing weightlifting shoes around the box – they are pretty easy to spot as they look a bit weird, right? They have a hard flat sole, an elevated heel and big straps on top to get your feet feeling secure. There are several benefits to the shoes:
– The hard sole helps you create force from the ground – great for being explosive within the Olympic lifts.
– The elevated heel helps you squat as it creates better flexibility in your ankles and hips.
– The straps allow your feet to feel stable and secure and this stability helps throughout all of the lifts.
If you feel you could benefit from the points above then invest in a pair! You don’t have to spend loads of money to begin with – look out for the ones in the sale! You might then decide to spend a bit more money on your next pair.
Personally, I love the Nike Romaleo 3’s as they provide a great amount of flexibility as well as having a strong and sturdy sole. Ask your friends around the box what they prefer as everyone will have a different opinion.
What’s the deal with hook grip?
Hook grip is a must for Olympic Weightlifting. You will use it in the pulling elements of both the snatch and the clean. You will notice that it provides a more secure grip and stops the barbell from turning in your hands.
Yes, yes it hurts to begin with. You will get used to the feeling after a few weeks so just persevere and you will reap the benefits in no time!
If you’re struggling with a lift what is the safest way to bail out of it?
You should always know when to bail out of a lift. If you feel that you aren’t going to make that lift there is only a certain amount of saving you should really commit to. On the whole, there is no reason for us to fight too hard to make a lift. If you think that it doesn’t feel quite right, drop the bar and try again!
The safest way to bail is to just move out of the way of the bar. So if the bar is going forwards, push it forwards and move backwards. If the bar is going behind you, push it behind and move forwards. Simple, effective and safe.
Give it a go with a lightweight on the bar so you know how to doing safely when the weight gets heavier.
If I feel my Olympic Weightlifting technique needs some refining, would you recommend any extra work outside of a CrossFit class?
Olympic Weightlifting features quite heavily in the CrossFit Norwich programming but if it is something that you would like to refine and really focus on nailing those lifts then yes, add some extra programming into your schedule! Put some time aside a couple of times a week to go over technique for both the snatch and C&J.
Get in touch if you have any more questions!