The Olympic lifts are fantastic exercises which incorporate all the muscles in the body. Other benefits of Olympic weightlifting include improved posture, improved strength, improved coordination and improved athletic performance. These are a small number of reasons why many top-level athletes use the Olympic lifts and their assistant exercises as part of their overall training programmes. Some Olympic Weightlifters have been able to match the acceleration speed of elite Sprinters for the first 10 meters in the 100-meter sprint. This is a result of the requirement of the Olympic lifts to be performed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Speed is very important in learning the Olympic lifts, without neglecting technique. The first pull generates the upward momentum to allow the athlete drop down into the receiving position, which if timed correctly allows the final part of both lifts to be completed easily.
Posture is improved since the Olympic Lifts targets the muscles of the Posterior chain to a greater degree than most sports. Sprinting, Javelin, Football and Rugby are all sports in which the body moves forwards, meaning that the muscles of the front of the body are worked more than the muscles of the back. The first pull of both the Snatch as well as the Clean and Jerk begins with a Deadlift. The Deadlift is a hip dominant movement which works the Lower Back, Glutes and Hamstrings, which leads to improved posture.
As a sport Olympic Weightlifting has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1896. It is comprised of two exercises. The first being the Snatch and the Second being the Clean and Jerk. The winner of each weight class is the person whose total combined weight lifted of the two exercises is the heaviest. With correct training the Olympic lifts are perfectly safe, extremely functional and can help you reach your fitness goals quicker than you would without them.
In the early days of the modern Olympics Austria, France and Germany were the dominant teams. During the 1950’s the USSR became the dominant team and remained that way till the 1990’s. The 1990’s saw Turkey, Iran and China take over as the dominant teams.