Olympic Lifting for Sports

Olympic weightlifting for strength and conditioning and sports in general is not an unheard of or new practice. While I may be biased because working on the Snatch and Clean and Jerk are my absolute favorite things to do, the sport of Olympic Weightlifting has a lot of benefits that roll over to a lot of other sports.


Al Vermail was the head strength and conditioning coach for The Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan era and he said that in the 90’s and before, Olympic Weightlifting was used a lot in national professional sports and athletes in those days didn’t get injured as much as they do now. I found it to be very true. I can’t recall how often Michael Jordan was sidelined with being hurt and other current basketball players are always on the bench. The reason being when snatching or cleaning and jerking you are exerting a lot of power with the most athletic ability that each person uniquely has. All of the lifts, when executed correctly, teach about patience, maximal force from the body’s ability to push, pulling strength, core stability, triple extension, triple flexion and overhead mobility.


But how exactly these lifts correlate to actual sports is not even that surprising. In basketball, a jump shot mimics the triple extension of a snatch or clean. The leg strength in soccer is attained by the catch from the Olympic lifts. In baseball or basketball the force a pitcher needs to throw a ball can be assisted with the internal and external rotation used in the clean and jerk. The power, stability and strength that you get also prevent injury and allow for you to play your sport for a longer period of time. There are countless more examples but Olympic Weightlifting has so many benefits with the most important being that you get in shape and stronger. So have fun and use the sport of Olympic Weightlifting for your benefit and see if you can be more athletic and have less injuries.

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