8 Unusual Olympic LIfting Cues That Get Results

James J. Latham

Olympic lifting is a single of the most significant-stage, skill-based mostly, athletic activities a single can conduct. No other fashion of lifting calls for the same stage of coordination, focus, and element than a major thoroughly clean and jerk or snatch.


8 Unusual Olympic LIfting Cues That Get Results - Fitness, grip, olympic weightlifting, neuromuscular power, barbell, intention, lifting, cues, coaching cues, tips

Olympic lifts involve coaching cues to build suitable motor patterns



I’ve been very fortunate in my coaching vocation to have been brought up by some legitimate masters in the game. About two months into my coaching vocation, I attended the NSCA’s Sport Particular Schooling Convention in Anaheim in January of 2000 and listened to Mike Burgener educate the lifts. I was mesmerized by him and fell in really like with each individual term coming out of his mouth (and his exceptional skill of killing all of us in two short hours with a PVC pipe). I immediately sought him out, and he opened his house and his infinite knowledge to me. I put in the following a few decades having to pay visits and aiding him at USAW certs.


Not only does Mike have many years of wisdom to share, but the cueing he utilizes can by some means get a area whole of novices on the same page. That is powerful. The adhering to are cues you might or might not have listened to when instructing Olympic lifting. A lot of of them I have created out of requirement. They are my go-to cues for nearly every person, and I’ve experienced great results with each of them.


Cue #1: Ice Drinking water in Your Veins

Olympic lifting is as much psychological as it is physical. Anybody who has designed proficiency at the Olympic lifts will concur that max attempts can be very annoying and invoke sizeable ranges of concern. For that reason, quite a few lifters want to get into a lather prior to going right after a major endeavor. This normally entails screaming and yelling, leaping close to, and attempting to use aggressiveness to fuel the attempts.


I’ve bought some poor information for individuals of you who do this. Realistically, you want to do the precise reverse. Look at significant-stage weightlifters educate. They all have an emotionless technique to the bar. They have mastered a thousand-mile stare. Over-excitability disrupts the flow of the motor program. I notify my athletes they need to have to have no psychological link to the endeavor. The moment you have efficiently completed the lift, go berserk, but not a moment sooner.


Ice h2o in your veins.


Cue #two: Commit to Taking pictures the Elbows

This cue is pure gold if you are doing the job with a lifter who is not getting their elbows close to the whole distance when they catch. I see it fifty moments a day. Lifters need to have to make a official determination that no make a difference what, they are going to shoot the elbows the whole distance as quickly as they can.


In some attempts, you will see lifters do the precise reverse. They’ve nearly resigned on their own to the point that they cannot get the bodyweight, and the arms hardly ever engage. If this is the circumstance with a single of your athletes, you have to influence them that the elbows are non-negotiable. The elbows need to have to be automated and they need to have to end with rate. So pull your athletes aside and influence them that even in advance of they contact the bar, they need to have to make a offer with on their own that hell or significant h2o, they are going to shoot the elbows. It is effective.


Commit to shooting the elbows.


Cue #three: Knuckles Down

The emotion of dropping grip sales opportunities to a assured failed endeavor, particularly for youthful lifters. Complications with grip are some of the first mistakes coaches face with a person who’s beginning out. This is with or devoid of utilizing a hook.



In my knowledge with the thousands of lifters I’ve worked with, nearly every person will by natural means have their wrists in slight extension when they grip the bar. If you seem at the location of the bar in the hand when the wrists are in any stage of extension, the stress of the bar moves to the fingertips. Imagine of executing a fingertip pull up. It’s 10 moments more challenging than a whole grip pull up. If you really do not have your knuckles down, you use the fingertip pull up grip to pull hundreds of kilos off of the ground. Knuckles down does a few crucial matters:


  • Simply because you have to now place your wrist into slight flexion, the bar rests in the meat of the arms in its place of the fingertips. So out the gate, you are in a more powerful situation by virtue of a surer grip.
  • Working with a hook grip (like most knowledgeable lifters do) moves a big part of the stress off the thumb.
  • The intention of driving your knuckles straight down retains the elbows straight for for a longer period.


Knuckles down.


8 Unusual Olympic LIfting Cues That Get Results - Fitness, grip, olympic weightlifting, neuromuscular power, barbell, intention, lifting, cues, coaching cues, tips

Still left: Correct, knuckles down Appropriate: Incorrect. knuckles out.


Cue #four: Travel the Floor Absent on the 1st Pull

The first pull can be tough for youthful lifters because they want to crystal clear their knees for the bar path. If we really do not educate that piece adequately, beginner lifters will both grind the shins with the bar or push the knees again devoid of lifting the hips up. Even while we go via a total area encouraging these athletes conceptualize the need to have to crystal clear the knees, in quite a few cases it however receives muddy.


Wondering about driving the flooring absent when standing up with the bar organizes not only muscular coordination that suits the endeavor, but also clears the knees from the bar. Lifters end up in a excellent situation and are equipped to transition proficiently.


Travel the ground absent on the first pull.


Cue #five: Shrug Oneself Down

It took me quite a few decades to ultimately educate the 3rd pull. I found that the minute you notify your athletes to pull on their own below the bar, they inevitably commence to pull with their arms through the 2nd pull. And as Coach B claims, “When the elbow bends, the electricity finishes.”


Till this cue came along, I experienced occur to the summary that if I was only going to be doing the job with newbies to intermediates, I was not going to educate the 3rd pull. In the previous days, we would educate the children that the shrug was the final-ditch endeavor to get vertical lift on the bar. Now, even while we fully grasp that the shrug can help carry the bar up a smidge larger and purchases us a fraction of a 2nd more time to get down, we educate the shrug is the position where by the drop to catch starts. If you have a lifter who is keen and equipped to snap their shrug – as they should be – you very likely will have an athlete who is keen and equipped to drop into their catch quickly. Win-get.


Shrug oneself down.


Cue #six: Throw Your Bridge to the Corner

I analyzed Baguazhang for a lot of decades and was an offensive lineman for thirteen decades. The “bridge” (or what we have occur to refer to as the again bridge bar) is this imaginary bar that addresses the rear of the athlete from shoulder to shoulder. When you are attempting to obtain a leverage advantage in a tight house from an opponent, you have a significant advantage if you can manipulate their bridge by pushing and pulling to obtain management of their higher overall body. Wrestlers, linemen, and BJJ fighters will know what I’m talking about, even if our terminology differs.


8 Unusual Olympic LIfting Cues That Get Results - Fitness, grip, olympic weightlifting, neuromuscular power, barbell, intention, lifting, cues, coaching cues, tips

Know the bridge, toss the bridge to obtain a greater hip extension


To get a lifter to end their hips, we make clear the bridge and then instruct them to toss their bridge to the corner of the area where by the wall and roof meet up with. As an FYI, the platforms in my facility are up from the wall, close to the corner of the area. You could use a gentle fixture or something like that if your established up is dramatically different. If this bridge plan does not resonate with you, the base of the neck is something we all can fully grasp. Either way, for a prosperous catch, we want the hips to end and obtain whole extension into slight hyperextension to deliver the bar.


Throw your bridge to the corner.


Cue #7: Catch Like a Mountain

How quite a few moments have you caught a thoroughly clean, only to be buckled by the bodyweight when you and the bar meet up with? It happens a lot, particularly with beginner lifters. They invest all their vitality pulling, so they soften at the bottom of the catch and fold up.


I notify lifters who have this difficulty that they need to have to be a mountain at the bottom. Whole stress in the course of the overall body will allow for their framework to tolerate the load. The visual of a mountain presents them the really feel of something large and solid. Most novices imagine they are owning a technique hiccup when in truth, they just need to have to imagine powerful. I get nearly fantastic benefits from this cue.


Catch like a mountain.


Cue #eight: Really feel Your Obliques in the Squat

This a single struck me quite a few months in the past when I was attempting to deliver better degrees of stress in my vertical urgent. I’ve experienced quite a few again accidents in the earlier, so much of the tinkering, I do with approaches comes from the need to have to build framework and security for my again. The more you compress the same-aspect oblique to build a column of security, the more powerful the whole movement feels.


On the ascent from the bottom of the squat, most of us have to chase our heart and electricity via a really deep ass-to-grass squat. Then you get to this position, really feel for your obliques. Attract your interest to your obliques and lock them down, making a pillar of framework for your midline. When you choose your interest to your obliques, there is a stage of an enhanced emotion of security as you stand up.


Really feel your obliques in the squat.


We all have some quirky cues to get what we need to have out of our athletes. These are just a number of of mine.


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