Setting up for a PR is the ultimate rush. There are so many different things running through your mind that important factors often get lost in the excitement. Here at WODshop, we’ve come up with 6 important steps to keep in mind when approaching your barbell. Concentrating on these details will help you kill that lift!
What’s the Lift?
Mentally prepare yourself for the lift you are about to execute. Take deep breaths and maintain focus on key aspects of the lift. If it’s a deadlift, be ready to lift that bar with all your might. If it’s a snatch or clean, act out your shoulder shrugs and hip thrusting movements. Most importantly, DO NOT fear that barbell. This is also a great time to chalk up.
Get a Grip
Be mindful of the width/type of grip you want to use. Your hand placement on the bar is obviously going to be different for a snatch or clean. Hook grip for example, is more secure and will help the lifter maintain a tight grip on the bar during acceleration. This step is essential in maximizing your lifting power.
A Step in the Right Direction
Just an inch off from the correct foot positioning can result in missing a lift. Get it in your head; always align your feet under your hips! If your stance is too wide, you will lose a significant amount of lifting power. If it is too narrow, both your force and balance will suffer. Don’t forget to drive those heels into the ground when performing your lift. The correct positioning and balance is what is going to help you set that PR!
Assume the Position
Posture is crucial in setting up for a successful lift. The bar should be as close to your shins as possible, preferably placed over the balls of your feet. This will assist in keeping the bar within your center of gravity during major pulls. It is also important to keep your knees flared out to help maintain the upright position. Last but not least, keep your chest up and your core tight! Making sure your back doesn’t collapse is going to set you up for some smooth transitioning.
Before the Pull
The first pull should be well thought out because is going to set you up for the rest your lift. The first pull should be a slow, methodical effort with your chest and back kept in the upright position. Don’t rip the bar off the ground; taking your time is key in maximizing your explosive energy for the next pull. Always remember to keep that bar close!
Breathing is an important factor that CrossFitters often forget to think about. Taking a deep breath and holding it in (Valsalva maneuver) is a preferred method that Olympic Weightlifters have used for years. This technique helps increase abdominal pressure and solidifies your core, which can ultimately support your spine when performing heavy lifts. A few short breaths, one deep breath to hold, and you are ready to fire!