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vBfPIIBe.Wewe tfse01ympieliftsbecausedaey Wuanaunkr 99 b e @ strqth, explosiveness,sped
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼cess of any athlete. These exercises require a high force output alongwithhighcontractionvelocities,andarecharacterizedby total body multi-joint movements involving over 50% of the bodies muscle mass in each movement, which transfers easily to the neuromuscular demands of many sports. I've coached athletes who were previously trained with isolated, singlejoint bodybuildingtypeexercises.Theseathleteshaveahardertime doing multi-joint tasks not only in the weight room but in their competitive sport. The olympic lifts develop athletic strength andpowerinacoordinativefashion.Thenecessitytoconstant- ly coordinateand stabilizein an explosiveathleticmovementis extremely beneficial to any athlete. This makes the Olympic
cific movements required on the field for there to be a signifi- cantcarryorvertoperformance.Researchhasshownthatslow movements are neurologically different than explosive move- ments (5). For this reason, a portion of the training must be ex- ecuted at speeds similar to those encountered on the field for their to be a carryover onto the field. This is Specificity of Velocity.ThisistherationalebehindtheuseofOlympiclifting in the training of athletes.
In the olympic lifts, the height of the barbells flight is a product oftheathletesneuromuscularsystemsabilitytoexpressexplo- sive force and the intramuscular coordination for execution of the movement in a given period of time. In other words it is an athleticexpressionuntoitself,withmarkedsimilaritiestocom- mon athletic movements such as jumping and sprint accelera- tion. John GarharnrnerPh. D., an internationallyrecognized ex- pert in the field of biomechanics has done objective measure- ments that have shown that Olympic lifters produce greater power outputs thin are found in any other human activity (3). Research and our own personal experiences have demonstrat- ed a strong correlation between the Olympic lifts and both the vertical jump and sprint acceleration. This is due primarily to thehighdegreeofexplosivestrengthdevelopedbytheOlympic lifts. This explosive strength ability translates well to the ex- plosive movements in the vertical jump, the first few steps of a sprint, and the ability to change direction. In fact, some elite Olympicweightlifterscanrunstepforstepwiththebestsprint- ers for 20 meters, primarily due to there highly developed ex- plosive strength quality. The reason for this is that during ac- celeration,thenatureofmuscularcontractionisconcentricand basically that of overcoming inertia. For this the ability to gen- erate force quickly (explosive strength), is the most dominant quality.Thepointsmadeabovecanbegraphicallyillustratedby ouradaptationofItaliansprintcoachCarloVittori'.sspeedcon- tinuum (8). (See speed continuum graph.) TheOlympicliftsdependgreatlyintheathletesabilitytoutilize the stretch reflex. During the snatch and clean the correct mo- tion of the of the first pull places the hamstrings on stretch. When the bar passes the knee the shouldersmove back and the kneescomeunderthebar,andhamstringsshorten,rapidlyload- ingthequadriceps.Thisrapidloadingcreatesthepotentialtore- utilize the elastic energy stored in the quadriceps and increases the force availableto be utilized during the final extension of the ankle, knee and hip. This stretch shortening type of contraction is prevalent in all athletics. Studies on the jerk have shown that the jerk depends greatly on the ability of the athlete to rapidly switchfromthediptothedrivephase,muchlikethatofthever- ticaljump(2).Itteachestheathletepropermechanicsandalign- ment for the expression of force as well as the ability to absorb the shock of landing efficiently,using the legs to decelerate the bar.
The Olympic lifts has great application to all sports which re- quirespeedandpower,ie.football,basketball,soccer,hockey, track & field, etc. It trains the athlete to generate force with the hips and legs, and to use it in the proper sequencemuch the same way an athlete does when blocking, tackling,jumping or accele- rating. This starts when pulling the bar off the floor. The start position of the clean and the snatch have marked similarities to a three point stance in football. The feet are placed shoulder width apart, head up, and the back arched. The movement from thefloortothekneeutilizestheextensionofthelegswhilemain- taining the tight arched back position needed when delivering a blow.Theadvantageofpullingthebarfrombelowthekneeis that it places the athlete in a similar position that occurs in the
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Horace Grant (over 2 m tall!) building up strenght "quattingwith 105 kg
Lfts not only highly effective but very efficient as a means of training. From a practical point, a coach can select a few exer- cises for a training session, because they use the total body in each movement. Like squats, they increase the force the athlete canproducebut,additionally,alsoprovideforthecapacityto expressthatforcequickly.Thismakestheolympicliftsanide- al method for developing athletic strength and power.
First and foremost, we are training to improve performance in competition, and all the training methods that we use must in some way contributeto that task or they would be pointless. For thisreason,themostimportanttrainingprincipleasitappliesto athletics is the SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) Principle. This principle simply states that the ath- lete adapts specifically to the type of training implemented. Train slow and the athlete becomes better at doing things slow- ly. Train explosively, and the athlete will become more explo- sive. Under the umbrella of the SAID Principle falls two very important concepts for the athlete and coach. Specificity of Mechanics,andSpecificityofVelocity.Mechanicalspecificity dictates that, for a method of training to improve performance itmustbemechanicallysimilarinsomewaytothecompetitive I act. For this reason, a portion of the training must imitate spe-
post in basketball and helps them maintaining position in post. To play effectively in the low post requires great
which has a negative effect on the speed of the jump. A back jumper is more prone to bringing the ball down when attempt- ing a put back after an offensive rebound. When they brillg the ball down there is a greater chance of getting the ball stripped. The variety of positions to do the lifts allows for great variation
t b n g t b because of all the pushing and shoving. The hip exten- vgidl*andisometric back strength is very similar to that needed post play. The hang position applies to tkam sports b e similartothedefensivestanceof defensiveback in football the defensive stance in basketball and
when applying strength training to fit the needs of-the in
athlete. If an athlete needs to improve to starting strength coming inertia then do them from boxes frpm around the knee or higher because athlete must first create tension to move the barbell because there is no pre-muscular tension. Another example is an athlete who needs to improve back strength. Then have the athlete power clean or power snatch or do pulls moving the bar to knees hold 3 sec then complete the lift. The position of the isometrichold is very specific to many sports. Lastly there areunlimited number of combinations with the olympic lift that keep athlete interested and the training stimulus varied. A sample of these aretwo pow clean,twofrontsquatandtwopushpressorjerks,ortwop e s n a t c h e s , t w o o v e r h e a d s q u a t s a n d t w o p u s h p r e s s b e h i n d t h e nech This variety allows for a change in the training stimulus so the ath lete central nervous system is asked to adapt to the new training thus preventing monotonous training sessions that lead to a slow down of the athlete's progress.
coaches training basketball players think it is better tojust
#Z As already stated, the biomechanics of the VJ and Olympic are identical. The Olympic lifts allow the duplication of the &mpmgmotion with resistance. This becomes very important
The role of weight training as an important component of any
iniury prevention promam has been appreciated by many ---
strengthcoaches,athletictrainers,physicztherapists, a d
tors foryears. Possiblephysiological mechanismsthat aid
jury prevention include; increased strength of tendons, liga ments,joint cartilage,connectivetissuesheaths,tendontobone andligamenttobonejunction strength,andbonelmineraloon&@;'"
tent (Fleck). Empirically, there is considerable evidence that
proper conditioning, particularly resistive training, wil strengthen muscle and connective tissue resulting in fewer in-
juries (7). bi In terms of injury prevention, the role of specificity of training
in the NBA because players rarely jump without an opponent grabbing or hitting them. After extensivetesting, film analysis, and observation, I found many players to be bwk jumpers
is an often overlooked and underestimated factor. Earlier, we discussed the role of specificity of trainingasit applies to en hancing athletic performance, but the significance of this con
cept to injury prevention is equally appli
cable. When an athletecompetes, he is ex-
posed to the greatest levels of concentrat-
ed stress that they will encounter. High
forces and rapid loading are an inherent factofthespedpowersports.Theroleof
the strength and conditioning coach the]
would be to systematically prepare thk
athlete to handle these forces as well as
improve performance. When an athlete repeatedly accelerates, plants and cuts,
and jumps and lands, he is exposed to
forces greater than anything he will expe-
rience during the training process. Take ' %,?. for instance the impact landing forces
f r o m a v e r t i c a l j u m p a s c o m p a r e d to t h o s e of a power clean. Burlchart, Barton and Garhammerfound that "maximal relative ground reaction forces during the land-.. inglcatch phases were higher for all sub-
jects in vertical jump and drop jumps (3.68d.02 to 4.54k1.35XBWT) and lowerinpowerclean(2.67a.56X BWT)
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼compared to thrust ground reaction forces (1). Realizing that landings from jumps during competition (eg., basketball, vol- leyball) are often single legged or off balance, these data indi- catethatuseofexplosiveliftsintrainingarelessstressfultothe musculo-skeletal system than normally occurring landings from jumps." When you take into consideration that these ac- tivities occur when an athlete is in a fatigued state, and often find themselves in situations beyond their control (such as a colli- sion or landing off balance or out of control), the level of stress increasesevenfurther."Connectivetissues~arevisco-elasticin nature. This means that they resist elongation (stretch) differ- ently depending on the rate of loading. If never exposed to high and rapid loading in training one cannot expect these tissues to be conditioned to withstand them without high risk of injury when encounteredin competition(4)".
Ironically the most maligned exercises, the squat, the olympic lifts, and jumps are potentially the most valuable ones in the in- jury prevention arsenal. The squat is considered by most strengthcoachesasthemosteffectiveandefficientexercisefor the improvement of athletic strength and the cornerstone of their programs. Unfortunately this sometimescontroversialex- ercisehasbeencriticized,wheninfactthereisnotasinglestudy thatsubstantiatesthatsquatswhenperformedproperlyposeany danger to the athlete. The squat exercise prepares the musculo- skeletal system to tolerate the higher rates of loading common to the olympic lifts and jumps. Currently, the use of closed ki- netic chain exercises and including the squat in rehabilitation has proven more efficient, safer, and functional than the often usedisokineticsandopenkineticchainexercisessuchaslegex- tensions. "Lutz et. al. concluded that closed kinetic chain exer- cises produced significantly less tibiofemoral shear and patellofemoral compression force when compared to open ki- netic chain exercises as a result of muscular co-contraction of as well as a more axial orientation of the applied force to the joint (6)."
Insporttodaygreat"athletes" dominatethecompetitivearena. To compete, the most effective, efficient, and theoretically sound training methods must be applied during the physical preparation of these athletes. The olympic lifts provide a supe- rior means for the development of many of these necessary qualities. It is this blend of athleticism with strength and speed that provides and "Edge" that the progressive, open minded coach is looking for in the quest for victory.
I.~urkharEt.,BartonB.andGarharnrnerJ.J.(1990)Maximal ImpactandPropulsionForcesDuringJumpingandExplosive Lifting Exercise. Biomechanics Lab, Physical Education Department, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach CAL. m e Journal of Applied Sport Science Research 4 (3): 109-1 10,1991.
2. Frolov, V. I., and Levshunov, N. P. Phasic Structure of the Jerk from the Qest." TyazhelayaAtletica. pp. 25-28,1979.
3. Garhammer, J. J. (1980) Power Production By Olympic Weightlifters. Medicine and Science in Sports. 12: 50-60.
4. Garharnrner, J. J. (1981) Equipment for the Development of AthleticStrengthandPower:PartI.NSCAJournal3(6):24-26, 1981.
5. Hakkinen, K. (1989) Neuromuscular and Hormonal Adaptations During Strength and Power Training. Journal of SportsMedicine and Physical Fitness 29 (1): 9-26, 1989.
6.LutzGregM.D.PersonalConference1993onComparison ofTibiofemoralJointForcesduringOpen-KineticChainand Close-KineticChain Exercises. InformationfromInvestigation of same title performed at the BiomechanicsLaboratory, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, by G. E. Lutz M. d., R. A. PalmitierM. D., K. N. An. PH. D.'andE.Y.S. Ckm. PH. D. Published in The Journal of Bone and Joint surgery, 732-739 Inc. May 1993
7. Stone, M. H. (1990) Muscle Conditioning and Muscle Injuries.MedicineandScienceinSportsandExercise.22(4): 457-462.
8. Vittori, Carlo "The Rhythm of the Sprint" Athletics Centro Studi & Ricerche Fidal. pp. 525-538, 1985 (Translated from Italian to English for The Chicago Bulls).
A1Vermeilwas anoutstandingcollegiatefootballplayeratUtah State University. He received his Bachelors Degree in Physical Education in 1968 from USU and his Master's Degree from Kansas State University in 1970.
Al's knowledge and implementation of new techniques and training methods have made his programs highly respected and successful throughout the sports world. He has developed out- standing training programs in a wide variety of sports. A1 was a very successful high school football coach before making the jump to pro ranks by assuming the position of strength and con- ditioning coach of the San Francisco 49'ers in 1979. During his four years with the Niners, his program made a major contribu- tion to the team culminating in the 1982 Super Bowl Championship.
Currently A1 is President of Vermeil's Sport and Fitness, Inc. VSFspecializesinathleticassessmentandtraining.VSFalsohas consultedwith the SanFrancisco Giants,University of Alabama, Texas A & M, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago White Sox, The Academy of Golf at Lakeway, Nicklaus Academy of Golf, Golf Digest School and the Los Angeles Lakers.VSFiscurrentlytrainingplayersoftheChicagoBullsas well as selected athletes. Along with the training of athletes he's appliedmodemtechnologytotheconditioningfieldwipthed e velopmentofVermeil'sTimeMachine. Vermeilhasbeenthefeaturedspeakeratmanycoachingclinics including the National Strength and Conditioning Association and National Athletic Trainer's Association and has been the subject of numerous, television, radio and newspaper interviews over his twenty-seven year career. He has written many articles for major publications like Golf Digest, the National Strength Coach Journal, Muscle and Fitness and Conditioning Association Journal as well as several conditioning manuals. Vermeil is the only strength coach who has been in. N. F. L., N.B.A.and~ajbLreagueBaseball,andtheonlycoachtohave a World Championship ring from the N. F. L., and N. B. A.