Four-Letter Words in Weightlifting: Part 1.


Word The title says it. Here are some four-letter words to keep in mind and can be used as simple cues when performing the snatch or the clean and jerk.

LEGS - The movement is initiated and the force is generated from the legs. Period.

PUSH - As the first word already explained it, to allow the legs to be utilised, the idea of pushing the ground away from you is a cue to help you use your legs.

PULL - The action of pulling does not begin from the ground, if not the arms and upper body will be prematurely involved and result in muscling the movement. Pulling begins when the bar reaches the hip and the weightlifter executes the second pull to transfer force onto the barbell to displace it.

LONG - This refers to the second pull. Keeping the pull long will ensure that the acceleration of the barbell is performed at the point when the barbell is at the right height of the hips and the timing of the second pull is accurate.

KNEE - The use of the legs with the movement of the knees contribute to the larger percentage of joint displacement in the first pull. So movement of the knees is important. Also, in the second pull, if you do not extend your knees while extending your hips, you create horizontal displacement of the hip with the bar, not vertical displacement which is the more ideal option.

HIPS - Along with the previous four-letter word, the hips and knees are the driving force when executing the second pull. If only the hips are involved, this results in the hips being brought forward prematurely (i.e. causing a large looping of the barbell) and not in a upward, vertical direction. Also, the bar needs to reach the hips before the magic can happen, so always keep the hips in mind.

FEET - I always emphasize the feet as the base of support. They support the combined system of the weightlifter and the barbell. Understanding how they contribute to the movement allows you to maintain balance and increase efficiency in bringing the barbell off the ground to overhead in as straight a trajectory as possible.

BACK - Two aspects to this word. First one is the neutral spine or tension in the trunk which needs to be kept. Common sense when lifting a heavy weight off the ground. Second is to have the upper back set (i.e. shoulder blades compact and tension held in the shoulder blades). Only when that happens can the barbell-weightlifter system be maintained as one entity.

So here are just some words to help you remember the stuff I always talk about when I speak of weightlifting. Rather than remembering the entire paragraph, these singular words can be used as cues and will allow you to not overload your mind and end up reciting a whole monologue before you address the bar. Stay tuned for part two as I give you another set of four-letter words to ponder upon and overload your mind up with again.

Stay Strong and Keep Wording,

The Training Geek