Part 5 in the series
Grasp the bar with a clean grip. This is determined by having your fingers just outside of your shoulders while the bar is resting on the front of your shoulders like you are setting up for a front squat (this is also called the “rack position”). Begin with the bar hanging in front of your hips and standing with your feet hip-width apart. This next piece might sound like an optional step, but it is paramount when it comes to performing the Olympic Lifts properly as we progress into explosive lifting. Hold the bar with a ”hook grip”. This is where your fingers wrap around your thumb and the bar having both your thumb and bar inside your fist. See the picture below:
Standing tall with your shoulders pulled back and down onto your spine and your knees slightly bent (do not perform this lift with locked-out knees) tighten your belly muscles. Find a spot on the floor about 6 – 8 feet in front of you. Maintain this focal point throughout the exercise to help keep a flat back and neutral spine at your neck. Begin with your weight through the center of your foot, tip forward while keeping your low back flat. As you tip forward, shift your weight towards your heels, but keep your entire foot in contact with the ground. The bar will be touching your legs throughout the entire movement. Keep slowly tipping down until the bar is 4 – 6 inches below your knees. Your low back must stay flat throughout the entire pattern. You will feel some stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. As you slowly return to a standing position, shift your weight back to the center of your feet.
Be sure to perform this movement slowly and keep your belly muscles very tight.