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Olympic Weightlifting is an incredible feat of both physical and mental strength where athletes often lift more than their bodyweight high above their head. The sport concentrates on two very technical lifts: the ‘Snatch’ and the ‘Clean & Jerk’.  In comparison with other strength sports, which test limit strength (with or without lifting aids), weightlifting tests aspects of human ballistic limits (explosive strength); the lifts are therefore executed faster—and with more mobility and a greater range of motion during their execution—than other strength movements

The Snatch

A barbell loaded with weight plates is placed horizontally on the platform in from of the lifters legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. The movement is completed with the lifter moving to a standing position with the bar still held above the head.

The Clean & Jerk

The bar is again placed horizontally in front of the lifter and is gripped with palms facing downward. It is it then pulled in a single movement from the platform to the shoulders while either splitting or bending the legs. The bar is then rested on the lifters chest whereby their legs are straight before performing the jerk. The lifter then bends the legs and extends them as well as the arms, to bring the bar to the full stretch where the arms are vertically extended.

Weightlifting in the British Army

The Olympic lifts are considered the most difficult and complex weightlifting techniques.

Discipline, concentration and dedication are all required to master these lifts and safety should always be exercised. We advise that no-one attempts an Olympic lift without prior training and supervision.

It’s our mission to get more of you involved in weightlifting and training. With that in mind we have created a number of networks, initiatives and programmes that will support you on your journey as someone involved in the world of weightlifting in the British Army.


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