Olympic Weightlifting for Crossfit

Olympic Weightlifting for Crossfit

The Olympic Weightlifting movements are made up of only two major lifts, however in the process of becoming as efficient as possible to allow you to lift the heaviest as possible you have an array of options in relation to breaking down these two unique and dynamic lifts.

The clean and jerk and Snatch are the two dominant lifts that you can perform for absolute power transfer that also have an enormous carry over effect in several of the power sports and are a staple of the Crossfit training practiced by many during their famous WOD’s. I myself at Claudefit Personal Training use the power version of these lifts in relation to building up a power base for my clients who practice martial arts, play AFL, Rugby and in the past taken on the rigours of American football we call gridiron. In addition my ladies group fitness class

The following plan ( in point form ) is just a sample of the work that goes into teaching the members at my local crossfit Craigieburn box in relation to the snatch and other specific lift and strength related exercise. Add in some mobility drills you are well on the way in getting a grip on how to perform the Snatch. Or at least be armed with a bit of knowledge in practicing these exercises with a safe and technical approach.

After a warm up that involved a series of total full body mobility drills we covered the following:

Bottom positioning cues                                                                                   

* Feet Hip width apart

* Chest is inflated

* Upright position (chest inflated)

* Hips Higher than Knees (80-100 degrees angle)

* Shoulders over and in front of the bar

* Arms straight and elbows out

It’s important to emphasise the set up and ensure that all participants are able to ask question if they are not sure. Given the various skill levels it allows for the less experienced and new members to get a solid understanding of the basics.

Progressive exercise for the snatch.                                                                                 

Full Snatch from Hang (knee Height)                                                                                                    

* Enhances the ability to accelerate the bar in the second pull

* Skill at receiving the bar

* Top of thigh /lower / explode up

Power Snatch                                                                                                   

* Emphasis on explosive phase

* Accelerate as much as possible

* Avoid pushing head forward (promotes hips going back)

* Lower than 90 degrees it’s not a power snatch

Snatch/High Pull

* High transfer into power production

* When comfortable (more experienced), done at maximum speed

* Start position of snatch (wide grip)

* Pulling straps can be used

Snatch Shrug                                                                                                     

* Start up on thighs

* Emphasis on the final explosive phase of the snatch pulls

* Heavier weights

* Power rack/Blocks required

* Shorter range

* Straps required

Drop Snatch                                                                                                      

* From chest

* Drop into snatch position

Once the class was able to be taught these progressions, given the time to practice, and allow for question time, we simply moved onto the strength exercises related to the question asked. Most of the lifts performed by participants related to their own needs.  At Crossfit Craigieburn we are proactive in a high level of client deliveries so question time is important in allowing member to find the exercises most suitable to them that will best help them out.

Strength Exercises                                                                                                         

* Overhead squat            * Lift offs

* Front squat                  * Romanian Deadlifts (second part of pull) snatch and clean

In finishing off the session we quickly went over the remedial drill that particular class participants needed. With the use of the Kettlebell the job of opening up the hips and working on the overhead extension finished off a productive and rewarding class


* KB – Goblet squat

* BB/KB Overhead shrugs

* KB – Overhead stretch

* Hanging knee raise (decompress spine/ core/ hips)

Claude Castro is owner of Claudefit Personal training located in Mill Park. Is a Level two Weightlifing coach with the Australian Weightlifting federation and currently taking the Crossfit Weighlifting class held at the newly establish Crossfit Cragieburn.

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