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How to Start Olympic Weightlifting | Performance Ground
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How to Start Olympic Weightlifting

How to Start Olympic Weightlifting

How to Start Olympic Weightlifting

Clean Lift  Technique

Olympic weightlifting is a competitive sport but has also become famous amongst the general population and within other competitive sports. This is because it requires many physical characteristics such as mobility, strength, power, co-ordination and balance. The problem with Olympic weightlifting is that because it is very technical, some people don’t have the correct guidance or just simply skip a few steps on how to perform the lifts correctly. In this article, we are going to show you how to start Olympic weightlifting focusing on the clean technique.

THE VIDEO: How To Start Olympic Weightlifting – Clean Lift Technique

Olympic weightlifting involves two lifts. Firstly, there is the snatch. With performing a snatch, we move the bar from the floor to overhead in one fluid movement then, stand upright with the bar overhead. The second lift is the clean and jerk. This is a two-part lift. Firstly, the lifter will move the bar from the floor to the front of the shoulders in one fluid motion then, stand up with the bar. The second part of the lift involves the bar moving from the shoulders to overhead with arms fully extended, in one fluid motion. The lift finishes with the bar overhead and lifter standing upright.

Learning Olympic Weightlifting

We are now going to go over the technical points of the clean and drills to improve your positions in the clean.


  • Front squat: the finish position of a clean is the front squat so this movement needs to be perfected.
  • Tall and clean: here we are at the top of the second pull holding that position briefly. We will then, drop underneath the bar to catch it in a front rack position then, stand up like a front squat.

Power Position/Second Pull

The power position occurs when the bar is contacting mid-thigh, the hips and knees are flexed with the shoulders over the bar. The second pull occurs when we extend our hips, knees and ankles, triple extension, and pull the bar upwards to around stomach height. The elbows point to the sky and bar is extremely close to the body.

  • Power position high pull: this movement has us going from power position, rapidly triple extending into a high pull.
  • Power position clean: progressing on from above, we perform the same movement, except now, we catch the bar in a front rack position standing up like in a front squat.

Hang Position/Transition

The hang position occurs when the bar is around knee height. The hips are flexed but the knees are soft, the shoulders are in-front of the bar. To get the bar from hang into the above-mentioned power position we bring our torso upright and extend our hips but not fully.

  • Hang position high pull: here the bar moves from hang into power position then, into the second pull in an explosive fashion.
  • Hang position catch: we are repeating the same steps however, we are now receiving the bar in the front rack position to then recover/stand-up.

Start Position/First Pull

The start position and first pull are probably the most important technically as if there is an error here, we can be sure something will go wrong later on the lift. In the start position, we stand with the feet hip to shoulder width apart. The hands are placed on the bar outside of the knees, elbows are pointing out along the bar, the hips are higher than the knees and the shoulders higher than the hips. To begin the first pull we begin to pull the bar upwards and backwards until the bar is at knee height, hang position.

  • Clean high pull: this lift marries together everything we have been working on so far, performing the first pull to hang transition to power and then, triple extension into the second pull
  • Clean: this is putting all of above into practice now catching the bar at full depth.

Go through the checklist mentioned above and watch the drills video. If you need further help with learning Olympic weightlifting in a safe manner book your free consultation with us!