Training Olympic Lifting
by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com
How soon should you start training Olympic lifting technique in young athletes?
My answer? As soon as the athlete walks in your door.
As soon as a young athlete starts training at my facility we are either doing the Olympic lifts or preparing them to eventually perform the lifts.
I do not advocate loading up a bar and telling younger athletes to start cleaning and snatching immediately, but I do advocate training the technique and qualities that produce great Olympic lifts later in training. Athletes at any age must learn how to properly create and absorb force. Teaching the young athlete how to produce force from the ground up is not only important to their athletic endeavors later in life, but also serves the purpose of learning the basics of the pull in both the clean and the snatch.
A portion of each coaching session with even my youngest athletes, focuses on the foundations of pulling technique, and even the technique at the catch position of both the clean and snatch. Once a young athlete has been training in my system for a period of time, we will progress to very light external loads.
For the younger athletes we will often use the lifts from the floor to increase hip mobility, and combine the exercises into a complex, we often superset exercises that train similar qualities.
For example a couple of my youngest athletes have this placed in the program for a portion of their workout.
1A Power Clean + Front Squat
1B Rocket Jumps
2A MB Front Squat + OH Throw (Pushing Straight OH)
2B Split Jumps
Of course these athletes have been taught in a targeted and progressive teaching system. One that leads these athletes to predictable and great results.
Athlete preparation is one of the most important aspects of the IYCA’s certification system.
Do you know how to optimally prepare your young athletes?