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Teaching weigthlifting movements from ‘bottom to top’ or from ‘top to bottom’, which is better?


Summary of an article looking at two ways of teaching Olympic weigthlifting lifts (snatch and clean) using forward or backward chaining, and comparing which one is more effective for novice lifters.

4 novice lifters (USA).

58 years male

<1 month of experience in weightlifting

no training history

32 years female

<1 month of experience in weightlifting

avid runner

48 years male

3 months of experience in weightlifting

played soccer, copeted in powerlifting

25 years female

<1 month of experience in weightlifting

competitive dancer

Intervention study with random assignement to treatments (teaching methods).
Training 45-60 minutes (10 minutes warm-up, 30 minutes drills, 5 minutes testing), 3 days per week for 2 months

Baseline snatch 19% correct

Baseline clean 21% correct

Bottom to top training snatch 76% correct

Top to bottom training clean 38% correct

Baseline snatch 1% correct

Baseline clean 3% correct

Top to bottom training snatch 23% correct

Bottom to top training clean 64% correct

Baseline snatch 16% correct

Baseline clean 22% correct

Top to bottom training snatch 44% correct

Bottom to top training clean 83% correct

Baseline snatch 15% correct

Baseline clean 37% correct

Bottom to top training snatch 75% correct

Top to bottom training clean 38% correct

For a clinician

‘Bottom to top’ (forward chaining) approach to teaching snatch and clean led to reaching higher levels of mastery when compared to ‘top to bottom’ (backward chaining) approach.

For a parent

Learnig Olympic weightlifting (snatch and clean) in a ‘bottom to top’ way is the key to master them.

For an athlete

If you want to master Olympic weightlifting (snatch and clean), ‘bottom to top’ approach is the way.



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