Home Strength Training Strengthening Your Olympic Lifts with StrongFirst Skills

Strengthening Your Olympic Lifts with StrongFirst Skills

19 min read

Kettlebells. Barbells. Bodyweight. Three completely different modalities that share a typical theme: they’re designed to assist us get stronger. We have seen throughout varied StrongFirst Certifications—SFG, SFGII, SFL, and SFB—ideas, methods, and abilities that construct on each other. Getting sturdy in a single modality helps getting stronger in each different. StrongFirst calls this the talent of strength.

What I’ve additionally discovered is that the muse of many StrongFirst abilities can supply helpful insights that help in building up Olympic lifts: the barbell snatch, and the clear and jerk. Vasily Alekseyev, the multi-gold medalist Soviet weightlifter, even obtained his start utilizing kettlebells (KBs) earlier than transferring on to Olympic lifting. I’ve been very fortunate to work at a spot that makes use of all of those strategies and modalities to assist our college students obtain their targets and have seen these ideas carry over time and time once more.

Body Control and Coordination

Let’s start with how we study body management and coordination for kettlebell abilities, and the way these are just like that of Olympic lifts. KB abilities normally— corresponding to swings, cleans, and snatches—all require an excellent quantity of body consciousness and coordination. To construct them, we start by practising positioning. For instance, within the swing, there may be the setup place, the hike place, and the highest of a swing place.

While the positions of the kettlebell swing are usually not an identical to these for Olympic lifts, Oly lifts do require a stable understanding of every place that comes collectively to create the barbell snatch and the barbell clear and jerk. Ballistic kettlebell abilities, particularly, have a level of complexity that requires good body proprioception and motor management to efficiently transition between positions which creates highly effective and technically sound actions. Olympic lifting requires this identical body consciousness and coordination—with further consideration for the even larger diploma of complexity and cargo potential!

You could even need to use kettlebell abilities as a prerequisite for building this stage of body and positional consciousness.

Leg and Hip Power

Another similarity between KB ballistic actions—like swings, cleans, and snatches—and barbell snatches and cleans, is that every is initiated by the ability from the legs and the hips. In all of those actions, inexperienced lifters might imagine that plenty of the strength and energy comes from the arms or higher body; however these lifts require a substantial amount of leg energy with the precise grip strength and stability. When teaching a barbell snatch or clear, it’s generally helpful to narrate again to a kettlebell swing in the way in which that we drive by way of the ground to create energy and decrease body extension. This may also help folks perceive how that bar will get over their head or right into a entrance rack place.

Push Presses: Kettlebell to Barbell

Several kettlebell exercises translate
exceptionally nicely to Olympic lifting. The kettlebell push press and push jerk
are wonderful instruments for educating the barbell push press and jerk, which assist
lead into the break up jerk. Specifically, the kettlebell push press and push jerk
assist train the identical positioning, leg drive, trunk integrity, overhead stability
and higher again, shoulder and ankle mobility wanted for a barbell push press and

The first preliminary dip of a kettlebell push press
and push jerk requires the lifter to bend from the knees whereas maintaining the higher
body fully vertical as if sliding up and down a wall. This requires stable
360-degree spinal stabilization and good ankle mobility in order that power will get
maximally directed upwards. This is identical place required of a barbell
push press or jerk. If the person hinges, fairly than bends from the knee,
the barbell will need to fall ahead, making it extraordinarily difficult to complete the raise, if not inflicting a whole miss.

Next, and from this preliminary dip, the legs
provoke the highly effective extension drive which transfers by way of the trunk and
into the arms to hoist the bells overhead. This once more is identical course of for a
barbell. It is useful to study this with bells first (or perhaps a single bell)
as you may start with lighter weight to get used to the switch of energy
overhead. As you get larger and greater bells, you rapidly recognize that you simply
have to make use of extra leg drive as a way to get them overhead. This is useful to
study earlier than attending to a heavy barbell because it builds up strength and shoulder
stability to press and management much more weight overhead with the barbell.

With a kettlebell jerk, after the primary dip and
drive, there’s a second dip. This requires the person to coordinate
dropping below the bells as they lock out their arms (within the dip place) to
get the weight overhead. This double-dip jerk coordination might be tough for
some to grasp and really feel the precise rhythm. Practicing with kettlebell first
could make the barbell jerk really feel way more comfy with optimum timing. When
you get to a barbell, it is possible for you to to push extra weight that requires
exact method and coordination.

Barbell Military Press

A barbell navy press can also be an excellent studying device for serving to out with push presses jerks, and even snatches. Military presses assist construct overhead strength in addition to display screen for any problems with overhead mobility and core strength limitations. If any of those are points, higher to deal with it right here first earlier than the motion turns into extra technical and ballistic.

Military presses create a substantial amount of stability within the shoulders, which assist with snatches and jerks.

Barbell Squats

Front and again squats are essential for all Olympics lifters! Front squats are an essential a part of a barbell clear. The ending place for a barbell clear is the underside place of the entrance squat. Building the mobility to keep up this place with excessive elbows and an upright stabilized torso is paramount in building strength on this place. The higher a person can entrance squat, the extra comfy a person will really feel with barbell cleans. Along with entrance squats, again squats are additionally an enormous a part of Olympic lifting training. With a lot leg energy and strength wanted for Olympic lifting, again squats are the head of decrease body strength and one of the best ways to construct them up!

Pull-ups for Upper Body Strength and Stability

Bodyweight actions will also be tremendous helpful for Olympic lifting progress. Pull-ups have a superb switch by way of building higher again strength and grip. While a barbell snatch initiates with the ability from an athlete’s decrease body, the strength to maintain that bar overhead within the touchdown place comes from a substantial amount of upper- and mid-back strength, amongst different muscle teams. I personally discovered that my potential to grab and snatch at larger weight elevated after I spent months with weighted pull-ups. Even after stepping away from Olympic lifting for a couple of months, after I returned after this particular training, my snatches felt stronger and extra secure within the touchdown place. This is probably not true for all athletes, however I do assume it’s a method an athlete can construct up their strength for the snatch’s catch place, in addition to enhance barbell management all through the motion.

Wrapping up: Strength Training Can Transfer

As said earlier than, we do not need to be married to just one modality. We can use ideas and the training from one methodology to boost the training of one other. Just as we have now discovered that kids who diversify their sports activities turn into higher athletes than ones who specialize too early, I consider we should always deal with training equally. By increasing how we train, we achieve a greater understanding of our our bodies and discover strength leakages we could not have beforehand seen. And lastly, among the best positive aspects from training completely different modalities is pure enjoyable and delight. I really like diving deep right into a modality or combining completely different modalities to return out stronger total on the opposite finish. Whether you might be searching for methods to vary up your personal training or searching for methods to boost the training of your college students, kettlebell, body weight, and barbell abilities can all construct upon each other to create a greater base of strength for everybody. Enjoy!

Sarah Polacco

StrongFirst Certified Team Leader, Fitness Director Achieve Fitness

Sarah is a StrongFirst Certified Team Leader Instructor and the Fitness Director Achieve Fitness. She has been a coach at Achieve Fitness since 2014. Her purpose is to make folks really feel sturdy and healthy inside and outside. She strives to make others really feel assured in all points of their life by way of fitness. Outside of the fitness center, Sarah might be discovered taking part in volleyball, dancing, watching the Fast and the Furious collection, or taking up any new journey that comes her approach!

Sarah’s skilled certifications embody: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, StrongFirst Team Leader and Elite Instructor (SFG, SFGII, SFL, SFB), FMS, USAW, TRX

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