Olympic lifts are not inherently dangerous if you use proper form. But if you've ever performed them without dropping the weights to the floor, you know that lowering the weight can be jarring. "The shoulders can take a beating from decelerating a heavy load as it's brought down," says Mark Roozen, owner of Coach Rozy Performance.
If you're using heavy weight, Roozen suggests using bumper plates so you can simply drop the bar to the floor. If bumper plates are not available, bend your hips and knees as you lower the weight to absorb the impact—similar to what you do when you land from a jump.