Enter the mind of a weightlifter for a bit. To me, the snatch, clean, and jerk is a feeling. It requires you to be completely aware of what your body is doing through space with heavy weight. I feel like a broken record sometimes saying, “feel the weight in your hands, feel the weight in the middle of your feet, feel the bar hit your hip!!” In the long, almost endless list of things I am looking for out of your lifts there is one key that jumps out at me. That key is triple extension. Let me explain to you exactly what that means to you.
Olympic Lifting is truly a game of inches and the more I think about the lifts, it becomes a game of centimeters. When you are trying to get all you can out of your body. To lift the weight in the most efficient way over your head, it sometimes comes down to a few centimeters. This being said, to Oleg and I, EVERYTHING you do in the weight room and in life matters for your lifts. I will talk about mental fortitude in a future post. This one is about achieving triple extension.
In the “game of centimeters” it is super important to understand the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Forget about everything else for a minute. In the auxiliary lifts such as the muscle snatch, muscle squat snatch, push press, the weight will be significantly less than your snatch, clean and jerk. In these lifts you are able to slow down and focus on what your ankles are doing. Have you ever heard Oleg tell you to talk to your ankles? It is his way of politely telling you to extend your ankles and come on your toes!
What order does this triple extension happen? Great question. It is a beautiful symphony of hips, knees, then ankles. It actually appears to happen at the same time. The way I think about it when snatching is wait, wait, wait, hit the hip, open the hips, talk to the ankles! Make sense?? I thought it would (joking). If you think about extending the ankles your knees will more than likely be extended which makes for one less thing to worry about. Think about lifting like a robot in sequence of steps and that is exactly what you will look like, a robot. Think about the lifts like your body and mind coming together to let weight fly over your head and you will look like the beautiful angel that you are.
See you in the fun house.