Some athletes incorporate Olympic lifts into their strength training routines in order to boost their athletic performance. This is because it offers benefits such as increased strength, speed and power, which athletes need to play sports.
Power is a vital aspect of performance for many sports. An athlete’s strength, high-load speed-strength, low-load speed strength, rate of force development, reactive strength, power endurance and skill performance all have an effect on their power output.
Olympic lifts build strength with fast, precise movements. These movements improve all seven aspects of power output.
Whole-body compound movements
The term ‘compound exercises’ refers to multi-joint movements that involve several muscles. Olympic lifts involve the entire kinetic chain of movements as they require a variety of actions.
Power clean lifts develop your leg, hip, core strength and stability. During the upward movement of the lift, back and shoulder strength is developed. During the catch phase of the lift, the ability to absorb load is developed.
This improves an athlete’s power output during performance.
Replicate movement patterns
During athletic training, exercises that replicate sports performance help to prepare athletes.
Olympic lifts make use of the same natural movements as running, jumping, diving, tackling and throwing. This is because the ankle, knee and hip all extend at the same time during lower limb movements like running and jumping. It also replicates the core strength an athlete’s body needs to stabilise itself when catching something.
High motor recruitment
During sports, the faster athletes can recruit several motor groups at once. This means that their sped will be greater.
Olympic lifts develop quick neuromuscular recruitment to coordinate the sequence of movements during lifts. This explosive feature helps athletes to react quicker.
Improved posture and range of motion
Bad posture can cause an athlete’s force transfer to become inefficient. An athlete who has a limited range of motion can’t reach the position that will maximise their power and speed.
Olympic lifts improve posture by strengthening postural muscles that support the spine and pelvis. It also improves range of motion in an athlete’s hips.
Improves back strength
In sports, neck and spinal injuries are very common. Jolting tackles or falling incorrectly can be fatal for an athlete’s sports career when it injures the neck or spine.
Olympic lifts build muscles like the traps and lumbar muscles that support the neck and spine. They place a lot of strain on these muscles and help them develop. This makes them more capable of protecting your neck and spine.
Olympic lifting and athletic sports can be combined to increase athletic performance. Athletes can use Olympic lifting to develop their power output, strength, high motor recruitment, posture and range of motion. All these aspects are crucial when doing sports and can benefit the athlete’s performance.
To learn more about Olympic lifting, you need to do our Olympic lifting course. For more information, please follow this link.