crossfit clean

2 Simple Steps to Learning the Olympic Lifts – Cherry Hill CrossFit Gym

2 Simple Steps to Learning the Olympic Lifts – Cherry Hill CrossFit Gym

Sometimes, less is more. And this concept certainly applies to learning the Olympic lifts for the very first time. Christmas Abbott – National weightlifter, CrossFit Games competitor, and box owner – does a great job of breaking down the lifts into two simple steps to help her athletes focus on the fundamentals and not worry about every little technical step. Now, that’s not to say that we don’t need to refine the movements once we get the basics down, but understanding them at the most simple level will get you under the bar before you know it!


That’s it. Just jump and punch. I know it seems too good to be true, but you don’t need to over think it. Start by standing the bar up so that it hangs naturally at your waist, right in the crease of your hips (full grip around the bar, using the hook grip if you know how).

CrossFit Snatch Pergression
Once you’ve achieved this position, it’s time to jump. Be aggressive! So, jump hard and high, extending your hips as much as possible before you punch that bar overhead.

CrossFit Snatch Progression
After you jump, driving through your heels, it’s time to punch! Again, a hard and aggressive punch is required to ensure you get that bar overhead quickly, locking out your arms.

CrossFit Snatch ProgressionCrossFit Snatch Progression
Simply stand tall to complete the lift!


Similar concepts can be applied to the clean, except instead of jump and punch, you now need to jump and catch. Start the same way, by standing the bar up to your waist. This time, bring your hands in a bit closer, so that your thumbs can just barely brush the sides of your legs.

CrossFit Snatch Progressions

Again, you jump to initiate the movement!

CrossFit Snatch Progression
To “catch”, you just need to swing your elbows under the bar, getting them up quickly and as high as you can. Stand to finish the lift!

CrossFit Snatch Progression
Now I’m sure some weightlifting coaches are cringing as they read this, thinking “These movements or much more technical and complex than just two steps!”. I don’t disagree. Both the clean & jerk and the snatch are high level movements with lots of intricate parts to them, but for someone just starting out less is definitely more! Here is a link to the video to help you hammer home these steps.