Technique for More Weight - Stop the Bar from Crashing On You with One Change

March 16, 2017

Welcome to a new monthly segment for WOD Nation! Technique for More Weight! To get the details about what we’re trying to do with these check out the very first post.

The videos below are from #ProjectLiftReview on Instagram. #ProjectLiftReview is an opportunity to tag your lifts in the gym and receive a one-minute review in our daily drawling.

Pulling the Bar High Vs. Changing Direction

In a past post, I highlighted how we can add more power and speed to our Olympic lifts by NOT shruggingIn this post, we’re going to see an athlete who shrugs and tries to pull the bar higher, and then we’ll see a video of an athlete pulling under the bar.

Our first athlete we’re going to highlight is Kristine. Take your time and watch this video. Here is what I want you to look at:

  • Her positions when the bar is at the hip (hint: She’ll be up in her shoulders)
  • What happens as the bar comes off the hip
  • How she receives the bar

… Don’t worry I’ll slow it down and talk to it.

A video posted by Drew Dillon (@drewdillon) on

Could you see how Kristine wanted to try to pull the bar a little higher off the hip? Keep those positions in your mind because now we’re going to look at another athlete move through those same positions.

Again look for these positions:

  • The bar at the hip (He’ll be long and not shrugged into the traps)
  • What happens as the bar comes off the hip
  • How he receives the bar

A video posted by Drew Dillon (@drewdillon) on

Did you see the difference in positions and how they moved? Did you see how SOLID Buster received the weight?

What Does this Mean for You?

If you’re currently trying to pull the bar high off the hip there is huge opportunity for you! But, the first step is awareness.

Awareness – Take your phone/camera and set it up at a front 45 degree angle and record a few lifts. Now take the time to review them. Did you see what you saw in the video above with Kristine?

A Deliberate and Intentional Focus in Training – If you saw yourself wanting to pull the bar high, or getting up into your shoulders early than there is an opportunity to correct it. The next step is to plan intentional time to work on it in training. Select drills that will help you address that area. Keep weights where you have enough control to move well.

Test and Re-Test – Start to add a little more weight, and keep videoing your lifts and give them a review. Have patience here. Many corrections won’t be fixed overnight, but with deliberate and intentional training you will start to move better!

Stronger, Faster and More Explosive

Our goal when it comes to improving the Olympic lifts is to be stronger, faster and more explosive. It takes deliberate and intentional training. Guidance will help and my hope is this article provides a little direction. If you’re at a loss don’t hesitate to take advantage of the #ProjectLiftReview on Instagram or the other remote options (Link “remote options”: we have at Project Lift!

WOD Nation... question for you – What challenges do you face when it comes to your Olympic lifts? I’d love to hear more to help me shape this articles!

This is a guest post from Drew Dillon, head coach and co-founder of Project Lift during his lifting career as an athlete Drew placed as high as 4th at a USA Weightlifting Nationals and is a personal coach to 2012 Olympian Holley Mangold. He is also know as a weber grill snob and will routinely ask you "what is for dinner" during training. You can follow Drew on Instagram and YouTube.