Walking, running, swimming, boxing, cycling, gymnastics even Equestrian-Are these not Olympic events?
We do these daily to move better, develop skills to become more efficient at one or more activities that you, personally find enjoyable or you believe has a greater benefit to your overall health
Why, when it comes to training, the majority find themselves moving either to annoying remixed hits in poorly-executed over-populated group classes or reside to being seated, minimising muscles activated and isolating muscles that show zero thought or consideration for the client’s goals?
Let’s not take away that I do feel any movement is good movement or, as I’ve seen many wear the shirt that illustrates “‘the only bad training session is the one you didn’t do”
Or do I disagree? As what if one day of clear education and understanding could eliminate days, months, even years of useless bicep curls and calf raises for one which has minimal body awareness, excessive bodyweight, poor posture and is time bound, from a client as above to the elite athlete with no physical contraindication to training? why not learn Olympic lifts?
Olympic lifts being the snatch and the clean and jerk
The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell from ground to overhead in one continuous motion. The clean and jerk is a composite of two weightlifting movements. During the clean, the lifter moves the barbell from the floor to a racked position across deltoids and clavicles. During the jerk, the lifter raises the barbell to a stationary position above the head, finishing with straight arms and straight legs with the feet in the same plane as torso and barbell. These lifts activate more muscle fibres more rapidly and teaches an athlete how to apply large amounts of force.
All sports require different amounts of muscle synchronization, balance, flexibility and co-ordination as well as strength, speed, power and metabolic development
Compare the snatch to any sport and nothing compares to force applied, mobility, strength, speed, timing and joint stabilization. If there was, the time it would take playing a full game or to perform a routine to have the same outcome would be greater.
Not being able to perform such movements shows dysfunction, imbalances and stiffness somewhere within the kinetic chain.
Diagnosing these and taking steps to correct and continuing to practice the lifts will then give the athlete greater range of motion through better mobility and will allow further development and a correction to many, if not all, basic movement issues.
Let’s talk neuromuscular. Neuromuscular is the combination of the nervous system and muscles working together to permit movement. Co-ordination, accuracy, agility and balance may also be known together as technique. How much technique is required performing seated chest press at a commercial gym or how is your technique policed in a group of 20-plus when the class is structured and forever changing every second? If you were to be corrected, you would have missed the next sequence of movements and possibly never got your movement out when the beat dropped and wouldn’t that be disappointing? Again, the snatch and clean and jerk are the highest level of neural developer.
Once efficient technique is acquired with the Olympic lifts, other movements also become easier to obtain as body awareness and force production is established. You will then move better and faster, obtaining a higher level of fitness and whether it’s a workout, task or duty, you will be better equipped to fulfil it and as progress is continually made and peak fitness may be reached what separates finishing first, second or third will be technique.
Technique is taught, it is cued over and over again. Technique is positioning, breathing, timing and the accuracy of getting everything to come together. Though you may feel like your movement patterns are correct, it has to be seen by another perspective. The slightest correction could mean extra Kg to a lift, more range of motion, clearer understanding of the outcome and at the end better results for you.
So why not add another sport to your resume and start moving like Olympians