The Importance of The Start Position in Olympic Weightlifting

/ / All, Olympic Weightlifting

The key to a good lift in both the snatch and clean & jerk is establishing a consistent start position. Whether that may be a dynamic start or a static start, having a consistent start position will generate an optimal second and third pull of the barbell. It is a very simple concept, a bad start will often lead to a bad lift.

To become consistent in your start position there are a few key factor that you must address when approaching the bar:



It is usually best to find a stance that feels natural and give you the ability to generate as much force off the ground, whether that is setting up in a narrow stance, wider stance, toes pointing straight, or feet slightly externally rotated.


Depending on your arm’s length, the smooth rings between the knurling is a good reference point. Also, it is best to use a hook-grip to keep the bar secure throughout the pull.


It is crucial to maintain a rigid torso in the start position because losing rigidity will cause an improper lift, and potentially cause an injury. Keep an neutral spine, retract the shoulder blades, and brace the abdominal during lift off.


A weightlifter needs to eliminate distractions and visualize a successful lift. Also, having a static focal point to look at before starting the lift can help with staying balanced. It is hard to find balance if our focus is disturbed.

Obviously, there are many other important factors for a good start position for the Olympic weightlifting movements but you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a lot of information at once. It will usually cause you to over-think during your lifts and result in a failed attempt. This is also a case for when you are coaching an athlete.


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