The pro’s and cons of olympic lifting
Olympic lifting is a fantastic art for athletes or those who know what they’re doing.
There seem to be a lot of trainers who don’t know how to teach this properly. And, surprisingly, some of them are in fact ex-Olympic lifters…
Although they are highly skilled at it themselves, they don’t seem to be able to relate to the mechanics or limb lengths of others, which can be problematic or even dangerous.
There are Olympic lifting concepts which seem flawed to me. Systems like cCrossfit, for example. Ok, so Rich Froning and other top Crossfit champs are awesome but most of these competitors were already training in the NFL or as competitive athletes.
Olympic lifting itself is a great movement for speed and posture. However, there are three distinct phases to it. But be warned, for people who are hypermobile this can cause spinal injury, as well as shoulder and neck issues. In fact, I knew an Olympic lifting coach who would regularly injure clients from rushing through the phases too quickly.
My belief is to learn the three phases at an appropriate pace, and then to work on the actual snatch itself. But only if you have the dynamic flexibility and strength to execute it in each phase.
Here are my top tips:
– Do 6 weeks of wide grip deadlifts as phase 1
– Do a snatch pull as phase 2
– Do a snatch as phase 3
Of course, if any of these phases are not executed correctly then you should go back to the drawing board and then learn how to get mobility in the earlier phase.
Myself and Julian Thomas, team GB 200m sprinter, love this move for power, mobility and overall health. So please come on over and pay us a visit.