What is Olympic Weightlifting?

The Basics

The sport of Olympic Weightlifting consists of two lifts; the snatch and the clean & jerk. In the snatch, the lifter lifts the barbell from the floor to overhead in one smooth movement. In the clean & jerk the lifter first lifts the bar from the floor to the shoulders (the clean) and then lifts the bar from the shoulders to overhead (the jerk).


The Snatch



In a competition, the lifter has three attempts at the snatch and three attempts at the clean & jerk. The weight of the best lift from each movement is combined to give the lifter a total. The heaviest total wins the competition.


The Clean & Jerk

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