View Full Version : Flexibility for Oly Lifts

02-25-2007, 11:39 PM

I'm running out of ideas as to how to properly get my arms and shoulders flexible enough to properly rack the bar on my shoulders when doing cleans.

Any advice?

I've been doing Rippetoe's stretching exercises [from "Starting Strength"] for months, but it just isn't working. I only end up with extremely sore wrists and no closer to racking the weight properly than I was before. My elbows still point straight down and the weight is supported on my arms rather than my shoulders.

It makes me even more frustrated to see my kids doing it right the very first time while I am no closer to proper form now than I was six months ago.


Any tips appreciated.

Sleepy Guy
02-26-2007, 11:56 AM
Try a reverse push up. Lye on your back, palms facing away and arch your back up. Now do a few push ups. This will stretch the back and arms.

Or bend the arm at the elbow and extend the elbow straight up. Use a wall to help extend the elbow back and loosen the lats up. Also work on the neck/traps a bit.

Take the bar with a bit of weight on it and just practice holding it. Elbows as high as you can get them. You do not need a full grip on the bar just have control of it. You can extend you grip until only the figure tips are holding on.

Other option is to try with thumbs out. It makes it a bit easier.

02-26-2007, 04:05 PM
Overhead squats, front squats, and do wall stretches first to warm up your wrists. You can also put on a lighter weight and get in a decent stretch just from the rack initially as well. It takes time, but the pain will go away as your wrists get more flexible.

02-26-2007, 04:09 PM
In addition to everything above

- try stretching the triceps

- practise the "rack" position while the bar is on a squat rack and you can push into it. Go slow, back off, repeat.

02-27-2007, 03:43 PM
hey i am having trouble with my snatch like i can get in position but its like i got a weird mental block cause the more weight i puton the less smother the motion is like i get the weight up nd try to move but my lower body juss wont move? ne advice

03-03-2007, 10:00 AM
Try pulling the bar higher and dipping under - you'll have no choice but to catch the bar on your front delts as the weight will nail your wrists.
Oh and ease off bicep exercises.

03-03-2007, 10:02 AM
edgeman - are you keeping your knees bent untill the high pull?

Sleepy Guy
03-03-2007, 01:30 PM
I would practice more and work slowly up to the weight. Maybe have a practice day and a full out day.

Commit to the duck. quack quack

03-03-2007, 09:36 PM
no curls, do rack holds

03-26-2007, 05:44 PM
Hey team.

I'm bumping this thread one more time to offer my sincere thanks for those who offered advice. It's been just about a month now and, following your recommendations, I have finally noticed huge improvements in my flexibility and form. Because of this my Oly lifts are now not only performed with greater weight, but with greater safety.