If you've ever tried your hand at Olympic lifting you'll no doubt be aware of the very real risk posed to your junk. Particularly vulnerable during the snatch and the clean movements, your crown jewels can be a barbell magnet, falling victim to a swift crushing as you move weight overhead.
While the issue is definitely common in the lifting community, it's an issue that's rarely addressed during coaching, particularly to novice lifters looking to improve their lifts with their junk in tact.
Well Olympic weightlifter and British strength coach Sonny Webster is a man who has the [uncrushed] balls to tackle the big issues, and has shared some vital coaching cues with his Instagram followers to help them avoid a nasty surprise when snatching and cleaning.
"It's a question I get asked a lot," says Webster, before running through a 5 step method to avoid crushing your junk.
As rookie lifters ourselves, heed Webster's advice, for the sake of your lift (and your future children).
Webster's 5 Steps To Avoiding Crushed Junk When Lifting:
1. "First of all, wear lycra," advises Webster. This will compress the goods, and limit free-flowing movement.
2. "When you're getting set up to the bar, tuck the jewels out of the way." While this might seem like an unwanted attention-grabbing move while up on the blocks, it's common practice among weight lifters and athletes in general. Take the time to get comfortable, the same way you would if you had a rock in your shoe. However take note; adjust from the outside of your pants, keeping your hands out in the open. It's just gym etiquette!
3. "When you're snatching make sure that you're keeping your arms relaxed and your contact point is just above the jewels," says Webster. The 'contact point' Webster refers to is when the barbell impacts with the hips on the way to overhead.
4. "Relax your arms."
5. "When you're doing cleans make sure you're keeping your arms relaxed and letting the bar hang," says Sonny, reinforcing his point. "If you bend your arms and lean back, that's when you're going to hit yourself. Think about striking up through the middle so the contact point is just below the jewels."