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Mastering the Fundamentals: Technique Primers in Weightlifting

Updated: May 15

Weightlifting is a sport that combines strength, speed, and technique. To excel in this discipline, athletes must focus on the fundamentals of the lifts. That's where technique primers come in. These exercises are designed to help lifters develop proper form and muscle memory, ensuring a solid foundation for their weightlifting journey.

In this blog, we will explore the importance of technique primers in weightlifting, as well as some key exercises to incorporate into your training regimen.

Bryan doing his Technique Primer
Bryan Jow at AO Finals

1. Importance of Technique Primers:

Technique primers serve as building blocks for the two main Olympic lifts: the snatch and the clean & jerk. By isolating specific movements and positions, primers help athletes:

- Develop proper form and muscle memory

- Reduce the risk of injury

- Enhance lifting efficiency

- Improve overall performance

2. Some Technique Primer Examples:

a. Snatch Balance:

The snatch balance builds confidence in the receiving position of the snatch. It helps with timing, speed, and stability.

- Start with the bar on your back, hands in a wide snatch grip, and feet hip-width apart.

- Dip slightly by bending your knees and drive the bar upward, while simultaneously dropping into a squat position.

- Catch the bar overhead with arms fully extended and stand back up.

b. Tall Snatch:

The tall snatch focuses on the third pull of the snatch, emphasizing the speed and coordination needed to get under the bar.

- Begin standing tall with the bar at hip level, hands in a snatch grip, and feet in your pulling stance.

- Start extended on your toes, pull your elbows up and out to about shoulder height.

- Quickly pull under into a squat, catching the bar overhead with arms fully extended.

c. Hang Power Clean:

The hang power clean refines the second pull and improves your speed through the second and third pull.

- Start with the bar at chosen hang level, hands in a clean grip, and feet in your pulling stance.

- Push the legs into the floor and extend your hips violently, pull the elbows up and out.

- Pull yourself down under the bar into a partial squat position, catching the bar in your rack positions with elbows pointing forward.

d. Jerk Balance:

The jerk balance improves the split jerk footwork and positioning.

- Begin with the bar on your shoulders, hands in a your jerk grip, and feet about hip-width apart.

- Starting in your split position step forward with your front foot, while simultaneously driving the bar upward.

- Catch the bar overhead with arms fully extended and recover by bringing your feet back together.

Technique primers are essential for any weightlifting program. By breaking down the complex movements of the snatch and clean & jerk, these exercises provide a solid foundation for mastering the sport. Remember, consistency and patience are key when working on technique. Incorporate these primers into your training regimen, and watch your weightlifting performance soar.

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