Weightlifting is a great way to build strength and muscle, but have you ever considered weightlifting competitively? Weightlifting counts as an Olympic sport, where you have to attempt a maximum-weight lift in one go. When competing for events such as the Olympics there are two different types of lifts you need to master, but be sure to start with lighter weights and work your way up.


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Snatch

man demonstrating the snatch weightlifting move

The first lift is called the snatch. For this lift, you need to lift the barbell up and over your head in one continuous move. Start by squatting in front of the barbell and gripping it. When you are ready, you need to lift the barbell up in one fluid move, up the length of your body. At your torso, start to twist your grip and continue the momentum going until the weights are over your head. As the barbell reaches your head, be sure to squat down under the barbell to take the force of the weight.

This move is great to really test your arm and upper body strength as it doesn't give the option to pause and hold the weight anywhere. If you are trying this at home, always try it with a small amount of weight to test the waters and always have a spotter nearby.

See how it's done here!

Clean & Jerk

woman demonstrating the clean and jerk weightlifting move

The next move is the clean & jerk. It is very similar to the snatch, but give your the chance to pause and adjust yourself mid-way. To start off, you will be doing the clean part of the move. Here you need to again squat down in front of the barbell and grip it. When you are ready, lift the barbell up your body and rest it against the front of your shoulders (deltoids) but be sure not to rest it fully on your clavicles.

The second part is the jerk where you need to lift the bar from its spot against your shoulders up and over your head. As you lift the barbell up and over, be sure to bend your knees to take the impact of the weight, and then push yourself into a straight standing position with your feet torso width apart.

This move works the arms and upper body but also adds that extra push to your back and shoulders when you pause in the middle.

See how it's done here!

For Olympic weightlifting, these two lifts are needed to compete. Or you could just learn how to do them for fun. Either way, you are building strength and muscle, whilst also pushing yourself as far as you can go.


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