Why I Don't Use Olympic Lifting For Athletes
Are They Worth It?
Second, let’s talk discuss the learning curve for teaching and executing Olympic lifts. To execute a proper Olympic lift there are multiple stages of learning whether it is a top down or bottom up approach. Being that I am one coach in the room of up to 45 athletes at a time I would be lying if I said I could coach up each athlete individually. In the time that it takes me to teach and execute proper Olympic lifts are their other movements that can display similar speeds of movement with decreased risk of injury? I would like to argue, yes!
Motor Unit Recruitment
This chart displays the max amount of motor units recruited by each movement:
By looking at this chart you are telling me I can recruit the same amount of motor units from max. velocity sprinting, throwing medicine balls and doing plyometric jumps then it is a no brainier for me. I can teach my athletes these movements in a fraction of the time that I can teach them to Olympic lift while mitigating risk of injury. Therefore, in my time spent at the college level I have chosen to sprint, throw med ball and use plyometrics and have had success.
Safety is #1
I am not saying there is not a time and place for Olympic lifting (personally I play around with Olympic variations lifts), but I am saying if I can get just as much bang for my buck with way less risk of injury, I am going to take that road every time. My number priority is safety. Every athlete’s greatest ability is……. availability.
Sports Performance Coach at Villanova University
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