Weightlifting Warm-up Complex

/ / All, Olympic Weightlifting

Most of us know that warming up is an important part of training. Especially when you are about to perform two intricate lifts (snatch and clean and jerk). In my warm-up, I usually address three important areas: mobility, pre-movement/activation, and movement preparation (weightlifting specific).

Note: The first and second warm-up series should be performed with 2-3 sets for 3-8 repetitions. The third warm-up series should only be performed with 2-3 sets for no more than 5 repetitions. Also, all of the movements are performed using an Olympic barbell.


This should follow a joint-to-joint approach starting from the bottom-up. The key areas that require the most attention should be the ankles, hips, and thoracic spine because of the triple extension during the clean and jerk, and snatch. Lacking mobility in these area can cause some compensation which can lead to injury.

  • Ankle – Dorsiflexion
  • Knees – Extension
  • Hip – Extension
  • Thoracic Spine – Extension
  • Shoulder- Internal and External Rotation



In this series, you are focusing on adding stability to your mobility. By creating hip, trunk, and shoulder stability, it should activate key muscles that are needed for executing the weightlifting movements. It is very important to feel the contraction where stability is required (glutes, trunk, and shoulder).

  • Snatch and/or Clean grip Romanian Deadlift
  • Hang Muscle Snatch
  • Overhead Squat


Movement Specific

This should be weightlifting specific movements. By performing PROGRESSIVE (short to full range of motion) variations of the Olympic lifts, it should make it easier for you to transition from your weightlifting warm-up to your weightlifting training session.

  • First Pull to Above Knee
  • First Pull to Second Pull
  • Muscle Snatch
  • Hang Power Snatch
  • Power Snatch
  • Snatch Balance
  • Snatch


There are many different weightlifting warm-up variations to choose from. The bottom line is when warming up for your weightlifting training, it should be simple, effective, and specific. There’s no point draining your energy from doing a bunch of warm-up drills. Focus on activating key muscle groups, tweaking your technique, and you will be on your way to shattering some PRs.

If you want some more articles on Olympic weightlifting warm-ups, here are a couple of great articles written by Greg Everett and Wil Fleming.

How do you warm up? I’d love to hear your suggestions! #StayGritty!