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Coach B, I lift weights for general health and fitness and have never done any of the Olympic lifts. After reading the many benefits of Olympic lifting, I would really like to learn them.

Please correct me if I'm wrong .. from reading your Q&A section, the first step in learning any of the Olympic lifts seems to be the front squat.

In my regular workouts I do back squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. but could never do the barbell front squats because of wrist flexibility (I can only do front squats when I can sort of hug the weights .. sandbags, medicine balls, etc.).

If I try to hold the barbell in the receiving position with the upper arms parellel to the floor, my palms would end up behind my neck. Also, in that position I could not keep the palms facing up; they would turn towards the side of my face.

Is there anything I can do to improve my wrist flexibility so I can do a proper barbell front squat, and in turn, start learning the Olympic lifts? Any tips/info is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Norman Tabalujan | 2007-07-29

good luck!!! that is a tough call!! one drill i use is take the bar, put it on the back as in back sqt., use a clean grip, while the bar is on the back drive your elbows forward, stretching the wrist. lack of wrist flex is common and can be dealt with, but it is a pain in the rear!!!!
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This won't let me post a link, but go to youtube and type in "dan john on wrist flexibility"

Perfect wrist stretch for olympic lifts. Also sounds like your shoulders could be tight. If you have an RKC trainer near where you live, they could help you quite a bit with that.
And for general information on all aspects of training for olympic lifting, look up Dan John's website and read through his book, From the Ground Up. Free ebook.