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CrossFit – The Burgener Warm-Up

After 45 years of coaching Olympic weightlifting, Mike Burgener still assesses athletes the same way: stance, grip, position.

“You just eyeball it real quick and you make the changes right away,” he says during this CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Trainer Course.

After that, it’s the five-step Burgener Warm-Up.

First is the down and up for developing speed through the middle. The hips must open and the shoulders come up.

“Now the shoulders don’t come up to bring the bar higher. The shoulders come up to lead you where? Under,” Burgener notes.

Second is elbows high and outside for keeping the bar close.

“You never want that bar to be outside the area of the base,” Burgener explains. “If it goes outside the area of the base, it’s away from my body. I don’t have any control.”

Third is the muscle snatch for developing the turnover.

“You’re really not pressin’ the bar up. What are you pressing down? You,” Burgener says.

In the fourth movement, athletes practice footwork as they increase the depth of the receiving position with the bar overhead, and finally athletes drop all the way down with the PVC pipe overhead to simulate getting under a heavy snatch.

“You always receive the bar where the bar is,” Burgener emphasizes. “You go to the bar.”


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