View Full Version : Assistance Exercises for Weightlifting

Matthieu Hertilus
04-16-2009, 05:40 AM
I primarily train with the o'lifts doing little else in the gym, but I must ask: what are some good assistance exercises to go along with them? I know you build all the strength you need with just the clean and jerk and snatch but is there a need to target certain muscles and stabilizers 1) to keep progress going and 2) to stay healthy and avoid injury? I was thinking one would need to incorporate some isolation exercises for: shoulders (particularly the external and internal rotators), biceps, forearms, hamstrings, glutes, internal/external obliques, and lower back. Like I said, I know the o'lifts already work these muscles but just like the Westside Barbell followers do assistance/ isolation movements to help their bench and squat, wouldn't weightlifters need to do the same? Just thought I'd throw the question out there and see what everyone's opinions are

Brian DeGennaro
04-16-2009, 07:48 AM
Pullups, dips, HLRs, back extensions, GHRs, GHD situps, cross chops, Russian twists... pretty much anything like that.

Arden Cogar Jr.
04-16-2009, 10:31 AM
My sessions are organized as follows:
1) dynamic lift first (snatch, clean & jerk or just clean)
2) one overhead pressing movement that corresponds with the dynamic lift (Behind the neck push press snatch grip, push presses, strict presses, jerks, etc)
3) one squatting movement that corresponds with the dynamic lift (OHS, front squats, back squats).
4) one pulling movement thta corresponds with the dynamic lift (snatch grip pulls, clean grip pulls, deads one day a week)

After I do those 4 fundamental movements, I do my "assistance" exercises. That is normally some form of chest pressing movement (floor press, bench, ring push ups, ring dips, etc) and some form of pulling movement (pull ups of various grips and spacing).

Ocassionally after that, I'll do some kettelbell Long Cycle Clean and Jerk, or presses, or kettlebell snatches.

After that, I always finish with some abdominal work.

Don't know if that helps at all, but it's what I do and it seems to be working well.

All the best,

Timothy Scalise
04-16-2009, 11:12 PM
Well, Bulgarian training methods usally are just snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat. My teacher basicly thinks snatch, clean and jerk, pulls (snatch, and clean and jerk), and front squats are all you really need. Some of my best cycles have been when I focused on just the classic lifts, front squats and then pulls. It really all depends on who you ask, and what your goals are I would say. Presses are good assistance I feel (snatch push press, push press, military press). The Chinese lifters do lots of pulling stuff as well such as upright rows (narrow grip), barbell rows, and dumbbell rows. I saw video of the Chinese guys doing that, also friend of mine went there to train for a while and said they do that. They also do isolation stuff, forget how often and how much, but doing curls , writst curls, and tricep extentions. He said he saw some of the Chinese women weightlifters doing kipping pull ups. Get the book the weightlifting encyclopedia, good stuff in there, also Im partial to Tommy Kono's book as well for some info but im bias as he is the one that taught me to lift weights. Lots of core work also, I like back extentions with a bar, and me and my friend do lots of weighted sit ups. not sure any of this helped, hope it did.