I've seen too many people rush into olympic lifting too quickly. As a result their progress stalls after only a few weeks and the frustration sets in. At this point, they usually ask for coaching and seek better technique, but often the lift only marginally improves. Once the movement and neurological patterns are in place, they are more difficult to change. It is hard to convince athletes this, but learning slowly the right way will lead to bigger and better gains in the future, just not maybe in the immediate future.
I've been listening to Wil Fleming from iForce alot lately. His progressions, cues, and approach seem sound and well thought out. This is a summary, and some additions, to how he gets athletes ready to learn the olympic lifts.
First we start with a few movement assessments. Similar to others, we are looking to see if the athlete can perform the following movements, unloaded, correctly, and without pain.
1. Over Head Squat: Use a PVC pipe overhead and simply watch them squat.
After the athlete has been cleared using a movement assessment, it's time to start teaching the necessary specific movements. At the top most level, all the olympic lifts incorporate the follwoing; 1. hinge, 2. front squat, 3. Overhead squat, and 4. jump.
Front Squat progression:
Overhead Squat progression:
Let me take a moment to again talk about the box jump. Don't be an idiot and see how high you can stack stuff to jump on. Its just stupid and not going to teach you how to handle force. Mike Boyle says, "if it doesn't look athletic, it probably isn't." Keep a solid foundation at both the start and finish. You should land on top of the box in the same position you jumped from. Chris Collins once told me that in both the landing and jumping position the coach should be able to read what is on your shirt. In other words, chest up.
Box Jump Progressions: