Not Just for Olympians

Olympic Weightlifting: Not Just for Olympians

This article originally appear on It was written by Ty Khan and Max Larocque of F.R.E.E. Fitness Inc.

The sport of Olympic weightlifting consists of 2 lifts: the snatch, and the clean and jerk.

The snatch involves lifting a loaded barbell from the floor to an overhead position in 1 smooth movement. Meanwhile, the clean and jerk involves 2 complexes, which include lifting a loaded barbell from the floor to a racked shoulder position, and is followed by an overhead jerk or split jerk. Both movements are technical and may take years of practice to execute correctly.

Olympic weightlifting movements combine balance, rhythm and timing. Your brain must adjust to a barbell’s weight and speed relative to your body position. When performed correctly by professionals, you’ll see the perfect combination of strength and mobility, aggression and finesse, and speed with patience. It’s poetry in motion in the exercise world.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to perform the full snatch and clean and jerk in your training program, especially if you are a beginner to the sport. Performing modified movements at suitable loads have incredible benefits to anyone looking to enhance strength, spatial awareness, athletic ability and reduce overall body fat.

Here is a list of 5 modified Olympic weightlifting movements that can be added to your training program:


1. Front Squat

  • Mid foot pressure, open chest, elbows parallel, knees forward and out, hips straight down

2. Strict Press (Overhead Press)

  • Rib cage stacked, press straight overhead, drive head through, maintain neutral spine

3. Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

  • Mid foot pressure, shoulder blades retracted, unlock knees, hinge at hips, keep bar close

4. Hang Power Clean

  • Mid foot pressure, RDL to knees, extend through knee/hips/ankles and jump, catch front squat above 90 degrees

5. Hang Power Snatch

  • Mid foot pressure, RDL to knees, extend through knees/hips/ankles and jump, catch barbell overhead with arms straight and squat above 90 degrees

Try adding these modified Olympic weightlifting variations into your program 2 to 4 times a week. You’ll certainly see great benefits in your overall fitness, and who knows, you might even love it as much as we do!