Olympic Fitness Tips
10 Fitness-Boosting Secrets from America’s Greatest Athletes
5. Forge Total-Body Fitness
At 5'7" and 185 pounds, 2012 national weightlifting champion and 2008 Olympian Kendrick Farris can clean-and-jerk 447 pounds—the equivalent of hoisting an adult black bear over his head. Like all Olympic lifts, the clean and jerk is highly technical, but you can learn a version called the high pull, which delivers many of the same total-body benefits. (More: Try one of our total-body workouts!) Grab a barbell using a shoulder-width, overhand grip, and hold it at midshin; keep your feet flat, hips back, shoulders down, and chest out. The first part of the high pull is a deadlift, but instead of stopping when the bar reaches your thighs, continue the upward trajectory with a powerful shoulder shrug, and rise up on your toes. Bend your elbows to allow the bar to come up to chest level. Do 3 sets of 5, resting 2 minutes in between.
6. Snatch Speed And Strength
World champion high jumper Jesse Williams doesn't lift weights in competition, but he depends on lifting. "The stronger you are in the Olympic lifts, the quicker you're able to put force into the ground to jump," he says. His go-to move is the snatch; the best regular-guy version is the dumbbell single-arm snatch. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand just below knee height, with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Thrust your hips forward as you straighten your knees, shrug your shoulders, and rise up on your toes. Let momentum carry the weight to chest height as you bend your elbow. Now rotate your upper arm and push your hips back so your body dips as your arm straightens. The weight will be over your shoulder and your legs straight. Do 3 sets of 5 reps with each arm.
Related: The 15-Minute Total-Body Workout