Barbell Shrugged

What Variety, Accessory Work or Skill Work Would Be Recommended To Improve The Olympic Lifts? – N&P

Doug Larson

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  • Hey guys,

    Really liked this post, very informative. What would you guys recommend as assistance work in terms of making your snatch & clean faster?



    • There are not tricks to moving faster. Honestly, you should just spend time around faster lifters. You need to “get it” by seeing it live, then fight to keep up.

  • Which single-leg exercises do you recommend the most?
    I’ve definitely felt there’s a disparity between the strength in my right and left legs, but I’m not sure how to go about fixing it.

    • I’m picky. I go with the movement that’s most comfortable. My toes hate lunges, so I typically put my back leg up on a bar/rail/pad then just do deep one-legged squats. Usually always with a barbell on the back.

  • Great article! What would you recommend for improving leg strength for squats? I am so weak in the legs, to the point that I can squat and push press the same weight. That can’t be right. :/

    • If that’s true you need to simply do it more. How often do you squat now? I would say, with moderate weights, you should be squatting at least 2-3 times a week. High bar. Full depth. Adding weight as you can. Stay very conservative and patient, and just practice.

  • Hi Chris. I get low back pain from dead lifts. I’m thinking I need more core strength. Would you agree? Also have a lot of shoulder pain from over head work. Gonna do more horizontal work. Thanks. Mike…

  • I need to focus on mid and upper back – winged scaps, don’t activate my lats in most movements. Besides rows, what else should I do?

    • Rich, I am an athletic trainer, winged scapula is typically due to weak Serratus Anterior muscles, this can lead to shoulder instability and possible other problems down the line. Serratus punches with a band or cable are excellent, but you must make sure you aren’t shrugging upward letting your upper trap fire too much. With a straight arm grasp the band or cable while facing away from it and punch forward from the shoulder. Also, the plus part of the push up plus is great for the serratus. Lower traps also might need some work, these can be worked with high banded face pulls/rows, the high angle targets the way the direction that the fibers of the lower traps run, always start the row with straight arms and squeeze your scapula together, setting them in proper position, then perform the row, controlled. Focus on your serratus mainly, add lower trap once the serratus can fire properly. You can google some of these exercises for an example. Hope this helps!

  • The new Q&A is awesome, as well as all of the many amazing things you guys do, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wanting to make others better without looking for something in return, a truly novel concept.

    How can I get programming from you guys?

  • Hi Chris, how would you recommend prioritizing accessory work for multiple deficiencies? For example, I want to work on both handstands (I can go against the wall, but it’s a bad hollow position) and core (I get rounded with heavy front squats and cleans). I’m following G. Everett’s weight gain program from his book. To mix these in 3-4 week cycles would it be better to focus on 1 of these 2-3 times a week and alternate cycles? Or both 1-2 times a week every cycle?

  • Hey there Barbell Shrugged! Great info, have already incorporated most of this from previous episodes/weightlifting guide and have already gone up 15lbs on my jerk. What episode if you know is the one about the core work Mike referenced? Thanks much.

  • Hi Doug,

    I am following the muscle gain challenge, just completed week 2. So far there hardly any accessory work. Should I be doing some? In that case what so I start doing? Many thanks

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