Cues for 18.2

Oh HAY, 18.2! We may be a tad bit biased, but CrossFit Weightlifting LOVES this workout.

As CrossFitters, we are familiar with hitting higher loads in our olympic lifts when we are fatigued.

However, when we’re out of breath and have a short time domain to work with, it can be tricky picking a cue to think about that will help bring our whole movement together…especially when our legs are feeling “really warmed up” (a super positive way of saying “incredibly exhausted”).

When a conditioning piece leaves me lacking the mental capacity to think about the 457 things that need to happen in order for me to successfully hit a heavy clean, here are my top three “go to” cues that generally get the job done:

#1. Set your lats back and DOWN off the floor

When our legs and back are fatigued, it’s really easy to be lazy in our set up and first pull…making it extremely easy for that bar to pull us forward right off the ground. So, in conjunction with getting a deep breath in and bracing your midline, roll your shoulders up, back and down before lift off. This will engage your lats and help you feel balanced and strong off the floor.

#2. Stay over the bar as long as possible

Until our legs come back to us, the first couple of lifts after the DB squats and burpees will feel heavy. As a result, we will want to jump and pull ourselves under the bar TOO soon.

Feel where your back angle is on your set up (hips crease slightly above your knees, shoulders over the bar) and KEEP IT THERE all the way until you’ve reached the mid thigh position.

Staying over the bar creates that slight hinge in the hips. This allows us to use our torso as a lever as we go to jump the barbell up…adding to the explosiveness of our drive!

#3. Elbows lead you out of the bottom

After you jump that barbell up with ALL the pent up emotion and aggression you’ve been carrying around in your lifetime, it’s important to not just pull the elbows around until you receive the bar in the bottom, but rather CONTINUE to pull the elbows around until you feel them leading you up out of the squat.

Keeping tension on the bar AS LONG AS POSSIBLE as you pull under will help your timing of catching the bounce out of the squat.


Good luck on your journey through 18.2! Be tough and remember that just because you’re breathing hard, doesn’t mean you can’t lift heavy weight (as long as you do everything I say above and keep technique, along with TENACITY, a priority 😉 )!

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