When performing a specific olympic lifting exercise, it’s natural to want to zone out and just go through the motions. We’re human! Life gets exhausting and we have days where our focus is on just surviving, rather than focusing in on EVERY single lift of EVERY single set. To be THAT focused in for 2-3 hours is hard work!
However, if you want to be a champion, those days should be few and far between. The majority of the time, we should not only be focused in on our movements and how they feel during a set, but we should also be able to understand WHY these specific movements are programmed for the day.
Every movement in olympic lifting has a purpose. Your job as an athlete is to tune in and figure out what that purpose is and how to apply it to your lift.
Let’s use 3 position snatches as an example. A 3 position snatch can contain all different positions, but for this example, we will use a very common 3 position complex: high hang snatch, snatch from above the knee, snatch from the floor.
High hang snatches are used to reinforce strong leg drive, or a strong jump. We don’t have momentum built up from our pull off the floor. All we have is a dip and drive to generate all the power we need on that bar. So, understanding that, our dip and drive has to be the most tight, most fierce dip and drive of our whole entire life.
The launch (above the knee) position helps to remind us of the MOST important position that we need to hit when pulling from the floor. In this position, we need to feel balanced on our feet, our shoulders need to be over the bar and our lats and midline need to be extremely engaged… almost to the point where you feel like you’re going to shart or pop one of your 8 abs. If we can get to this position confidently and consistently, we will have a much better chance of being successful with our lift.
And, last, as we finish the complex with a lift from the floor, we’re focusing on bringing all those positions together.
We have felt how balanced and tight we’re supposed to feel in our launch. We know how hard we have to drive with our legs from our repetition with the high hang snatch. Now, we need to piece it all together with our lift off the floor (all while we’re slightly fatigued mentally and physically)!
This is not as easy task! BUT it’s a great way of increasing our technical accuracy and mental focus.
So, the next time you’re training, test your ability to understand the movements and their purpose, rather than just going through the motions. More than likely, you’ll begin to notice positive changes in your progress because the more we understand about the lifts, the more we can CONFIDENTLY execute them.