Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting



Slow Lockout In Jerk Or Snatch?

If your elbow lockout overhead in the snatch or jerk tends to be slow and incomplete, consider your grip tension.

An excessively tight grip on the bar will limit the speed at which you can extend the elbow and make complete extension of the joint more difficult.

This is confusing to many new lifters because of the common recommendation to squeeze the bar hard when bench pressing or pressing. Remember that in these two lifts, the goal is to produce as much force as possible, and a tight grip will help.

However, in the jerk or snatch, relatively little force is necessary—the lockout is occurring while the bar still possesses some degree of upward momentum. More important than force production is the speed at which you’re able to punch the arms into a completely locked position before the weight of the bar is being fully supported.

To feel the difference, press an empty bar as fast as you can into a complete lockout position overhead, first with the tightest grip possible, and next with the loosest grip possible. The speed and completeness of extension will, for most athletes, be noticeably better with the looser grip.

When locking out the jerk and snatch, aim to hold the bar with only as much grip tension as necessary to maintain control and support the proper hand and wrist position overhead.

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