Early struggles in Olympic Lifting

by olyhq on January 29, 2012

For those just getting started in Olympic lifting, there is often a struggle to get your body into some of the more challenging positions that are required.  Positions like the bottom of a squat with the barbell overhead, as in the bottom of a Snatch or a position like a nice low catch on a clean.  More often than not, this is due to a flexibility issue.  Flexibility is CRITICAL to Olympic lifting.  To have success you have to have enough flexibility an d/or mobility to quickly get yourself into various challenging positions.

The best way to approach gains in flexibility is to get into the HABIT of actively working to improve your mobility and flexibility.  20 minutes of stretching 6 days a week is better than 120 minutes of stretching 1 day per week.  Get into the rhythm of stretching.  Get used to being in the positions that are challenging.  I would recommend you to start getting into the habit of doing some mobility work prior to your session.  Use a lot of dynamic movement, as found on our mobility and stretching page.  I would also work in some more static stretching elements in your post-workout routine.  Look out for some more specific posts on some specific mobility actions and tests, but here is a good one…Just sit in the bottom of a squat.  I am not talking about holding a parallel squat, but settling in to the true bottom of the squat, relaxed, knees out, breathing comfortably.  You shouldn’t feel any pain in the knees if you do, readjust, or just stop this exercise.  Take a break from the position if you need to, but try to accumulate some amount of time in that position.  Try starting the exercise with 5 minutes of accumulation and work up to a total of 10 minutes after a few months.

How does this feel for you?  How long can you hold consecutively?  How do you think this will impact your Olympic lifting?  Leave comments below…

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