One of the most effective ways to improve technique in the Olympic lifts is to add in accessory movements before the full lifts. Both the snatch and clean and jerk are incredibly complex; making small adjustments can be difficult without breaking the movement down. Exercises such as snatch balance, tall clean, jerk balance, etc. can be used to pinpoint specific weaknesses. Without all the moving pieces of a full lift, you allow yourself to focus exclusively on the desired adjustment. In addition to technique work these can be a great way to increase mobility and warm up properly for a training session. When these exercises are performed before the the lifts you prime your body for correct movement patterns.
So, the next time you are tempted to either skip or rush through accessory movements remember that they are one of your best tools for improvement in the sport.
Tips for Performing Accessory Movements:
Never sacrifice technique for heavier weights! Remember the goal is to improve the full lifts, not to PR your pressing snatch balance.
Adjust the movements to fit your specific needs. If you struggle with mobility a Sotts press could be very beneficial, if you need to work on staying tight in the catch you may benefit from heavy snatch balances, etc.
Work your weaknesses. Usually the exercises you dislike the most are the ones you need the most.
For ideas on various accessory exercises, check out P&G’s movement library!
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