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Hi coach b

when performing any presses or oly lifts i have problems maintaining or locking out at the top on my left-side, i am naturally right-had dominant. my left feels like it will give out sooner, or before even getting there i lack the strength to push evenly on that side to get the weight up and i eventually have to drop the bar. of course this isn't a problem with lighter weights on the bar...not that i am very strong, but trying to get there =)

i am two months into crossfit & oly lifting, and have not really worked out much in the past. doing warm-ups with a 45lb bar quickly requires effort and my 80% on the snatch is only 75lbs; with the c&j it is not much more than that. as you can imagine i can deadlift, bs, fs and clean much more than i can press, push press, or push jerk.

what do you recommend to improve overhead position strength and balance? also, are there specific drills or exercises i should do to strengthen the left side/arm/shoulder? should i not stress to much about it and be patient...the weak-side will eventually get as strong as the right over time?


Rnb | 2010-05-27

focus is one way to correct that problem....right side naturally takes over but left side is weak...when doing those exercises requires more focus. now having said that i also use db's. i had an old strength coach in college that would press 75 lb db in his right h and and 55 in his left because of the same reason. one more thing is i would look at using the split jerk too...that puts your body in a more vertical position and easier on shoulders. one more thing....can you straighten your left arm all the way....same as the right? if not you might have an arm that just will not straighten all the way. good luck and get in touch with me if the db's and split jerk do not work.
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coach thanks for replying so quickly.

i have no physical issues or limitations with the left-side, other than general weakness. when i try to press a heavier weight i can push and lockout my right elbow/arm/shoulder, but just can't get enough out of the left to completely extend and lock out. even with people yelling encouragement to straighten out the left i eventually give way to the weight.

as for the snatch, when trying to work with heavier weights do you suggest on focusing on getting even lower under the bar considering my strength imbalance? i was thinking of continuing with low weights i can handle for that lift, but focusing more on doing snatch balances and overhead squats with the barbell to develop strength and balance.

i saw a video on youtube of some chinese lifters and their it they had them holding handstands in a completely locked out position. is that something you would recommend to build shoulder girdle strength and stability?

along with db presses, kettlebell movements on the left-side like c&j and turkish get-ups should help as well?

i will definitely start using db's now, improve my focus and learn the split jerk too.

thank you!
Coach Burgener
common sense....the hand stands for sure seem like a good idea. i believe in heavy sn balances....a pr each week but with minimal singles. not many sets either....get strong but be smart. you are on the right track. its not rocket have an on that imbalance.