What Are Those Crazy Weightlifting Techniques?

June 30, 2016

What Are Those Crazy Weightlifting Techniques?
by Jim Gregory PT, DPT, MTC,CSCS

With the recent explosion of Crossfit into the Fitness world, terms such as “power clean”, “snatch”, and “clean and jerk” have become more commonplace amongst gym members. These types of lifts can look intimidating and cause novices to have a very negative view of these training techniques.

Olympic Weightlifting is a ground based series of explosive power lifts, designed to improve strength, power, and ultimately athletic performance. The 2 key Olympic Lifts are the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. The Snatch is an explosive movement of the barbell from the ground to overhead, using fast twitch muscle fibers of the gluteus maximus, hamstring, and calf musculature. The Clean and Jerk is a two part movement: taking the barbell from the ground to the shoulders, then from the shoulders to the overhead position.

The increasing popularity of Olympic lifting is based on its profound effect to generate hypertrophy of muscles, neural adaptations to improve explosive movement, and provide whole body functional strength improvements. In fact some of the highest power measurements ever recorded, as generated by the human body, are found during the second pull of the snatch and clean. Numerous studies have shown the ability of Olympic lifting to improve vertical jump height and 40 M sprint times, hence its strong carryover into athletic endeavors. Olympic Weightlifting is a highly functional strength and power training technique which requires motor learning to perform.

As with any skill, it takes time and practice to ensure technique safety.  It is highly recommended that for anyone attempting to perform these lifts to consult a strength and conditioning expert, trained in these lifts, to ensure the utmost safety and performance improvements. Physical Therapists are commonly trained to examine and evaluate people looking to perform Olympic Lifts. If you are interested, contact a Physical Therapist to see what he or she can do for you.  As Physical Therapists we are trained to not only treat injuries and sources of pain but to observe human movement and assist with preventing injuries from occurring. A yearly check up from a Physical Therapist, evaluating how your body moves, can not only help you avoid injury but allow you to do the activities you love as efficiently and effectively as possible. Don’t wait until a serious injury occurs before seeing a Physical Therapist this spring, be proactive and have a movement analysis done today.  For more information, visit Visit MyHaywoodRegional.com/Rehab or call 828.452.8070.

Jim Gregory PT, DPT, MTC,CSCS is a physical Therapist who works in Rehab Services at the Outpatient Care Center at Haywood Regional Medical Center as a clinician and the Center Coordinator. He graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in 2003 and The University of St. Augustine with a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in 2008. In 2009 he obtained his Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) providing extensive training in joint and myofascial manipulation, specifically of the spine. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Sports Performance Coach through USAW, and obtained his certification in Funct828.ional Dry Needling in 2014. In addition to his 8 years of experience as a Physical Therapist, he specializes in spine and orthopedic rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and enjoys working with patients of all ages. When he’s not in the clinic, he enjoys hiking, strength training and playing music.   For more information, visit Visit MyHaywoodRegional.com/Rehab or call 828.452.8070.