Do You Commit These 7 Olympic Weightlifting Sins?

Do You Commit These 7 Olympic Weightlifting Sins?

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The aim of this piece is to rectify some common mistakes that are often seen during competition and training which prevents the lifters from reaching their potentialĀ in the snatch, clean, jerk, squat, and pulls.

Pulled Forward/Falling Backwards

Re: Snatch/Clean

Proper balance is required throughout the feet during the first and second pull to ensure a successful lift.

A shortfall in leg strength during the first pull combined with poor balance usually ends in excessive throwing of the barbell at the end of the first pull.

The eliminate this excessive (uncontrolled) throwing of the barbell, the lifter must push with all their might using their legs, ensuring proper balance and enough pressure through the heel and mid-foot, not through the toes.

Poor Overhead Stability


The danger of failing to hold and stabilize the barbell above your head plays on many lifters minds. This inability to provide a stable platform could be resolved by actively press up the bar as they move the feet in line after the snatch/jerk.

Poor Front Rack Position

This can be caused by poor pulling power, lack of balance during the pull or even a loose back upon the catch. Once corrected this can improve and provide a solid front rack due to incorrect timing and a lack of tension of the upper body.

Insufficient Acceleration From The Squat

For those who fail to push out of the bottom of the squat, it is usually down to a lack of explosive power and aggression.

It is all too easy to slowly lower your body with the weight in to the squat position with the inability to lift yourself out, more focus should be on the bounce at the bottom of the squat by utilizing the stretch reflex of the hips, hamstrings and quads.

This will enable an explosive exit from the squat.

Failing Knee Position


All to often lifters’ knees fail and start to fall inwards when there should be good tension with the knees facing out.

A simple way to remedy this is for the lifter to focus on pulling the floor apart and forcing it outwards.

This will also increase muscle recruitment.

Collapsed Snatch

You may have seen one to many of these not particularly relating to weightlifting…but they’re stories for the locker room only.

However, where lifting is concerned a collapsed snatch is dangerous when in the overhead position.

This is usually down to a lack of patterned aggressive, explosive force with a fast elbow extension and stable overhead rack.

Failed Aggression

The jerk requires a powerful and fast movement utilizing all of the aggression the lifter can muster.

The jerk is a three part movement:

  1. Dip
  2. Drive
  3. Commit

This requires aggression and confidence. The lifter must focus on moving the weight in a timely manner without hesitation and full bore force.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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