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The Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic style lifting has many health benefits including:

Multi-joint movement. These are not isolated exercises. Many muscles work at the same time as a group.

Lots of core work (back, side and stomach muscles) involved.

Trains for speed, power and agility.

Strengthens ankles and wrists.

More functional than isolated exercises like bicep curls.

Some examples of Olympic Lifts are:

1. Hang Jump Shrug

2. Clean and Snatch Pulls and High Pull

3. Power Clean and Power Snatch

4. Front and Back Squats

5. Split Squasts and Side Squats

6. Deadlifts

7. Good Morning, Push Press and Push Jerk

But first...
Two Basic Weightlifting Positions You Should Learn First

Squat Jumps

This plyometric exercise (a power exercise, your feet will leave the floor) is a staple movement for many Olympic lifts. It's comparatively easy! Start by assuming a basic squat stance with your feet hip width apart, all of the weight on the heels, and your buttocks pushed back like you're about to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and back straight.

Next, place your hands behind your head, go down into the squat, until your thighs are basically parallel to the floor.
Finally, focus your energy on pushing up through the heels and ankles and spring upwards. Your feet leave the floor and your body straightens completely in the air.

Tips for Beginners - Begin by using body weight only, and by coming about an inch or so off the ground, just to test for limitations, and to perfect your form. When it becomes too easy, aim for more height. The intermediate step would be to add dumbbells, or a barbell behind your head, placed over your trapezoids.

The Hang Position

This " power position" is the basis for many Olympic lifts. It will set you up for explosive power with jumping lifts, and work on having excellent form for your deadlifts.

Start by getting back into the basic squat position with knees slightly bent, weight on the heels, and buttocks back. With your back straight, and shoulders back, slide your hands down your thighs to your knees. This movement is initiated by bending at the hips, not the knees.

Now that you are leaning forward, arms down, hips back you are ready to start lifting!

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