Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lifting for Athletic Performance (Part 3)

Hello Everyone!

Continuing with our posts about why lifting for athletic performance should include exercises like the Olympic Lifts (Part 1 or Part 2). This post will give athletes and parents a better understanding of the most important (and beneficial) part of the Olympic Lift, the overloaded triple extension.

Overloaded Triple Extension in athletic terms simply means jumping with resistance. Now let me clarify that "jumping" in Olympic Lifts is not trying to get your feet off the ground as far as possible. In Olympic Lifting it is getting the barbell off the ground as far as possible.

Triple extension refers to the three joints of the hip, knees, and ankles extending in unison. This action is crucial for athletes (think rebounding, tackling, hitting, throwing, shooting, diving, kicking) since these athletic skills all require explosive unison of triple extension for an athlete to be successful.

As a side note, when your joints do not extend in unison you are at a greater risk of injury. In fact, many baseball players' elbows and shoulder problems stem from lack of unified extension of multiple joints (especially at the hip).

Olympic Lifting is all about triple extension, and when you get good enough, adding resistance (load) to the bar so you can get stronger triple extension. When you step off the weightlifting platform and into the realm of sports, you take this overloaded triple extension training and suddenly find yourself jumping higher, hitting further, throwing faster, tackling harder, kicking further, serving faster...and the list goes on.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

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