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Olympic Lifts and Your hops
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Olympic Lifts and Your hops

As much as we play basketball the average D1 basketball players vert is only 28 inches

The Olympic lifts are terrific to incorporate into any serious sports performance program. My only concern is when athletes are unsure how to perform them correctly still try to utilize these lifts. This is really where injuries may occur. If one is taught these lifts properly they are far from dangerous and can provide numerous benefits. I would suggest if someone were interested in learning the lifts to find an USA Weightlifting Coach in their area.

Ok, so how do the Olympic lifts and their variations help the vertical jump? As I mentioned earlier the hips are primarily responsible for the success in a vertical jump. What the Olympic lifts do is teach the lifter how to use their hips explosively. This ability to translate force will allow one to utilize the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) more efficiently leading to a better jump. A good example of the power of the SSC is the following. Try to jump, but before you explode up hold the bottom position for four seconds. Measure how high you jump. Next, dip down as fast as possible and come back up as fast as possible. See a difference? Chances are you saw significance between your two efforts, the second jump being much higher.

The other benefit from the Olympic lifts is if you use their full movements you can greatly increase the flexibility in major joints such as the hips and shoulder girdle. The Overhead squat, Drop Snatch, and others are great exercises to develop overall body strength and power. However, they will still increase range of motion in all important areas.

If you would like a stronger example of the impact of the lifts let us look at the following. I would like to thank my colleague Chad Ikei for the following information. This excerpt is from his article "Pulling To Jump Higher."

"Nicu Vlad of Romania, World Record holder and Two time Olympic Medallist, came to the United States back in 1990, with now current U.S. National and Olympic Team Coach Dragomir Cioroslan, for a training camp. It was here at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, that this 100-kg (220 lbs) weightlifter recorded a 42" vertical jump. Not to mention he was in weightlifting shoes, which weighs a lot more than tennis shoes and no formal warm-up. (Snatch 200 kg, Clean and Jerk 232.5 kg)

Another good workout site


Shane Hamman, 2000 Olympic Team Member and current National Super heavyweight Champion, another big man weighing in @ 163 kg (358 lbs) but only at a height of 5'9" tall, can jump onto boxes @ a height over 42" high. Of course Shane was also known for his squatting ability of over 1000 lbs. (Snatch 195 kg, Clean and Jerk 230 kg)."