The Snatch is one of the Olympic Weight Lifting movements and is in my opinion the most technical single move that you can perform with a barbell. It is built on the foundations of the overhead squat and although it can be taught safely to beginners with the right instruction, I’ve marked this as an advanced exercise as you should have some level of strength and experience with resistance training before giving it a go.
The broad jump or standing long jump is an introductory plyometric exercise that can help improve explosive power. Although it is introductory plyometrics, I’ve categorised this as being advanced because you need to have some strong legs to control the landings for this one. You should already be very comfortable squatting and should be able to at least squat your own bodyweight before considering this as an explosive power exercise choice.
The Push Press is a full body explosive lift. You can start to handle heavier weights overhead which gives greater overload than you might be able to achieve with just shoulder power alone. It also gives the opportunity to develop rate of force development as you skilfully try to accelerate the weight overhead! If you are an overhead or power-based athlete then the overhead press is perfect for improving power. It is essentially a more advanced version of the strict press and so is a great skill to start to develop to take your general strength training to the next level. Make sure you have mastered the strict overhead press before attempting this. It is a staple for Weightlifters to improve their overhead strength but it is also very useful for developing power that will transfer into jumping and throwing based movements.
The Squat Jump is a great exercise for power development but this is the first one that I’d classify as intermediate to advanced. It is really only appropriate if you are training for sports or athletic performance as your primary outcome. More advanced athletes looking to develop power and particular how fast they can develop power will find the loaded squat jump a very useful tool. You must make sure that you have a strong squatting pattern and sounds jumping and landing mechanics before even considering loaded jumps like these as the forces start to multiple putting you at a higher risk if you are not in control.
The Snatch Deadlift is not only for Olympic Weightlifters, it can be utilised to challenge the back and legs more than a conventional deadlift allowing you to get stronger while lifting lighter loads. That said, if you struggle to get into a good position to deadlift with a normal grip then chances are you are not ready for the Snatch Deadlift. The wider hand position makes it more like a deficit deadlift in terms of positioning as you effectively shorten the arms having them out wide.
The box jump is a great introductory plyometric and power exercise. It is growing increasingly popular but is often done poorly or with inappropriate and excessive risk. Once you have mastered a bodyweight squat and can control your body through the full range you are able to progress to introductory plyometric like the box jump. The focus should be on controlling the landing before progressing to jumping onto higher boxes. The box jump forces the muscles of the lower body to work together rapidly to develop the force to get you flying into the air. This makes it great for power development, speed of movement and for intermuscular co-ordination (how well your muscles cooperate).
In this blog I’ll share 5 benefits of Olympic Weightlifting that are either unique or at least more apparent than for other forms of weight training or exercise. As usual, these benefits are multi-faceted and extend beyond simply physical benefits to psychological and social.
The aim of this is not to tell you that you should try or take up Olympic Weightlifting but merely to share the benefits and give you some insight so that you can make the decision yourself if it is right for you. Like any high-skill movement, Olympic Weightlifting should be performed with the expert guidance of a coach. In-person is always better but there is guidance, tutorials and advice available online which means if you aren’t able to find a local coach then there are still options to get involved.
If you have been going to the gym for any length of time, you’ll notice that other gym-goers have fancy belts, knee sleeves and other pieces of equipment. In this article, I’ll share the 5 essentials that I feel everyone should have in their gym bag. These will help you prepare, organise and make the most of your training in the gym helping squeeze out those marginal gains to help you towards your goals that bit quicker. Inevitably, there may be some things that don’t make the list which could have a lot of benefit for some but these are the things that I simply would not go to the gym without, if I had the choice. All of the equipment and accessories mentioned are available at Strength Shop. This is my personal list, let me know what accessories you would never go to the gym without in the comments below.
In this article I’ll outline 5 of the best assistance exercises to improve your Olympic Weightlifting.
Allan Young is a Personal Trainer and coach educator in Glasgow who operates Strength Coach Glasgow and is a 4x Scottish Champion Olympic Weightlifter.