If you’re serious about Olympic lifting, I hope you have a good therapy team.
Olympic lifts are very complex in terms of motor skills, and in activating the correct muscle to execute the technique properly. Sometimes we are unaware of our own movement patterns and may move more dominantly from one side of the body. The other thing I’ve seen Olympic lifting coaches do is allow clients to drop the bar really badly and repetitively. Rather than dropping the bar from a high point they allow their clients’ bodies to drop down from a mid-point where their backs end up lowering with the weight.
Olympic lifting isn’t for everyone. The best way to learn is in phases and stages to see which movements benefit you and where you can get stronger or more mobile. Olympic lifting is fantastic for athletes, young sports enthusiasts or very active people, but can be a real no-no for people who have injuries, are elderly or haven’t partaken in much exercise in their life.
Really, some people are better off starting with power lifts, like deadlifts and snatch grip deadlifts, and working through the different phases of the lifts until they can begin to train powerfully and without injury.
This is where osteopaths, chiropractors and remedial therapists come in to the article. In my experience, remedial therapy helps a lot with calf and neck issues. Kasia Jay, the remedial therapist here at AWPTS, is awesome. I also have a chiropractor from UP Mayfair and he is in an expert in being able get the nervous system and muscles activating properly, as well as rebalancing the body. For posture and aches and pains there’s Tali Rayner – she’s a top osteopath.
Olympic lifting performed and coached incorrectly can give you neck and shoulder issues and a tight upper back. I personally think that lot of people should unlearn bad habits, e.g. learning how to use their hips properly from the start of the movement to the mid-point and then transferring up, also known as a mid-hang snatch pull.
If you want to learn Olympic lifting safely so you can do it for the long term, come and see the team and I here in SW1.