6 Top Tips for Olympic Lifting
Olympic lifting is a highly technical but fantastic way to get strong. However, because the weights are generally being lifted by big burly men who grunt and groan and drop the weights with a big crash, it often occurs as intimidating.
With the Summer Olympics upon us in Brazil, I wanted a kinder, gentler approach to this sport. I turned to my longtime friend and former coworker Bri Rudolf. Bri, mother of two, explains and demonstrates the basic Olympic squat for you, in plain English and with a smile (rather than a big grunt!).
Tip #1: How much weight you have on the bar is not important
But it is really easy to lift the bar badly and hurt your back if the bar is not heavy when you are just learning. Heavy weights actually force you into joint centration, a good thing, which we will discuss further in a future blog. That leads us into…
Tip #2: Keep core engaged when beginning the lift.
Here is an example of a bad starting position:
Here is a good start, even with a light bar:
Tip #3: You need your hips to hinge
And you must use your hip strength
Here is an example of a bad hip position: see how much she is using her back instead? It is totally cranked in an exaggerated lumbar curve:
Here is a cool action photo where she is throwing her hips forward to create the strength with her hips instead to get the bar up:
Tip #4 Here’s some Olympic lingo:
You want to “Sling the bar up” and get your elbows high!
Bad elbow position looks like frowns and elbows down:
Good high elbows and smiles look like:
Tip #5: Technique is very important.
Don’t forget body mechanics from beginning to end.
Tip #6: Ask someone for help
or spotting – or education when learning or even when you think you’ve got it!
Thank you, Bri!