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Bleu Bettencourt 01-04-2008 10:49 AM

Lifting Technique
I am having problems with my lifts. I hope to have some video and pictures soon, but I will try to write what the problems are below.

  • Rounded back at bottom - especially when I try to go deeper
  • When practicing with stick, I seem to want to naturally hold the bar way behind me. (May be causing imbalance in bottom position)

As for the Clean & Jerk:
  • Rounded back in low position once weight gets heavier
  • I jerk the weight in front
  • My split stance is quite narrow

I think this might be a flexability issue. I am still doing the "Dave Turner Beginner" program written in Dan John's book. But, my concern is maybe even that might be too advanced at the moment. Or, it could just a flexability issue thta I need to focus on during the lifts.

Any suggestions? My coach says it is an ankle fexability issue and I might need to add more sole to the bottom of my lifting shoes and it is not fixable.

John Alston 01-04-2008 11:26 AM

You have an experienced coach? Listen to him/her.
Unless you have reason to distrust them, an in-person experienced coach, someone who's coached for a while and competed with years in the sport is the best source of teaching.

Sounds like you're new?

THe jerk issues mostly sound like practice will fix them. The flexibility issue, well, listen to your coach, and give it time. I know my flexibility continued to increase for a long time so that now I require little warm-up to hit deep positions.

Stretching resources? Try Pavel's books, I hear they're top.

Oh, check with your coach.

Bleu Bettencourt 01-04-2008 11:43 AM

My coach is a long-time olympic lifter (55 yrs. old), but has never been an official coach. Actually, he was wanting me to do a program he created, which was power moves on Monday, Pulls on Wednesday and heavy lifts (Snatch, C&J, Squat) on Friday. This contradicts what I have read here, by Burgener and DJ, so I don't folow it to a "t" all the time. It condtradicst only b/c I think I might be too strong for my technique.

Allen Yeh 01-04-2008 11:48 AM

This applies to all sports and not just Oly,different coaches have different methods. This person has seen you lift in person, why not give their program a solid shot before doing other things? Unless what they are having your do is something completely dangerous/wacky. Giving it a month to 2 months time is not really that much of a commitment is it?

How often do you meet with him?

Greg Everett 01-04-2008 11:52 AM

I like your coach already because of the ankle flexibility comment. I would agree with the above comments - trust your coach, do what he says, and see what happens. You can't evaluate whether or not his approach works if you're not actually doing it.

Bleu Bettencourt 01-04-2008 12:22 PM

He is with me 1 or 2 times per week. He is a very nice guy and seems to really know his stuff.

(Does anyone else out there overstress about this stuff!?)

Yuen Sohn 01-04-2008 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by Bleu Bettencourt (Post 24210)
(Does anyone else out there overstress about this stuff!?)

YES!! I certainly do. I find it really tough to stay focused at times, especially when I read about all the different programs and progressions out there...very tempting to switch gears when the program you're currently on isn't yielding short-term results. Even at practice, I encounter many different philosophies and am often asked why I'm doing what I'm doing. My goal for 2008 is to stick with a plan, have it in writing, adjust as needed, and move on when stagnation occurs.

That said, don't hesitate to respectfully voice your questions/concerns about the program with your coach. I do it all the time (but am usually countered with some mumbo-jumbo that goes way over my head, haha).

Oh, back to your first post in regards to jerking forward, a cue I found useful is keeping the elbow position high and consistent throughout the dip.

John Alston 01-04-2008 12:48 PM

In some ways, we all stress about it; that's why we're here talking about it.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie 01-05-2008 07:49 PM


Originally Posted by Bleu Bettencourt (Post 24205)
My coach is a long-time olympic lifter (55 yrs. old), but has never been an official coach.

An interesting observation is that you did not state your age, which might shed more light on your potential for progress. Your coach's age is not as consequential as yours.

On the problems you described, like others have commented, practice should take care of many issues.

As for coaches, a stubborn trainee would quickly lose the best coach. Coaches are talented humans and deserve the full trust of a novice trainee. Even an imperfect coach would offer better option than you’re shopping around for a perfect routine.

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