Olympic Lifts

Olympic lifts combine strength, power and neuromuscular co-ordination elements in a way that transfers to athletic activities, such as vertical jump performance (Kraemer, 2002). The amount of force required and the rate at which it is produced has led to the routine use of variations of Olympic lifts in athletes’ physical preparation. Due to the nature of the lifts it is possible to execute the movements without the need to brake the motion of the resistance with the use of the neuromuscular system. This can be an advantage when preparing for sports that require maximal force production.

Hori (2008) reported that high performance in the hang power clean was significantly related to jumping and sprinting performance and Hedrick and Wada (2008) suggest that despite a number of fears the risk of injury from the Olympic lifts is as low or lower than most sports as long as there is appropriately trained supervision.

Teaching Resources

Practical Handouts

Key Chapters

Brewer, C. and Favre, M. "Ch 12: Weightlifting for sports performance" Jeffreys, I., & Moody, J. (Eds.). (2016). Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance. Routledge.

Useful Links

Sample Coaching Video

References and Further Reading

Brewer, C. (2005) Strength and Conditioning for Sport: A practical Guide for Coaches. Leeds: SportsCoach UK. Ch 4

Brewer, C. [no date] Weight lifting technique:Observations and coaching practice UKSCA [full text]

Bruce-Low S, Smith D. (2007) Explosive Exercises In Sports Training: A critical Review. JEPonline 10(1):21-33. [full text]

Caterisano, A., Moss, R.F., Pellinger, T.K., Woodruff, K. , Lewis, V.C., Booth, W. and Khadra, T. (2002) The effect of back squat depth on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and thigh muscles. J. Strength Cond. Res. Vol. 16, No.3, 428–432 [full text]

Channell, B.T. and Barfield, J.P.. (2008) Effect of Olympic and traditional resistance training on vertical jump improvement in high school boys. J Strength Cond Res 22(5): 1522–1527 [full text]

Chavda, S. et al (2020) Weightlifting: An Applied Method of Technical Analysis  Strength & Conditioning https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344750301_Weightlifting_An_Applied_Method_of_Technical_Analysis 

Chiu, L. (2009) Sitting Back in the Squat Strength & Conditioning Journal Vol.31, No.6, 25-27 [abstract

Comfort, P., Haff, G., Suchomel, T., Soriano, M., Pierce, K., Hornsby, G., ... & Stone, M. (2023). National Strength and Conditioning Association position statement on weightlifting for sport performance. Strength & Conditioning Journal. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000004476  

Cormie, P., McGuigan, M. R., & Newton, R. U. (2011). Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 1 - Biological basis of maximal power production. Sports medicine, 41(1), 17-38.[full text]

Cormie, P., Mcguigan, M., & Newton, R. (2011). Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 2 training considerations for improving maximal power production.Sports medicine, 41(2), 125-46.[full text]

Deweese, B. H., Ed, D., Serrano, A. J., Scruggs, S. K., & Sams, M. L. (2012). The Clean Pull and Snatch Pull : Proper Technique for Weightlifting Movement Derivatives. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 34(6), 82–86.[abstract

Favre, M., Peterson, M. D., Arbor, A., & Arbor, A. (2012). Teaching the First Pull 1. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 34(6), 77–81. [abstract]

Fry, A.C., Smith, J.C., Schilling, B.K. (2003) Effect of Knee Position on Hip and Knee Torques during the Barbell Squat Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. Vol. 17, No. 4 [abstract]

Gamble, P. (2013). Strength and conditioning for team sports: sport-specific physical preparation for high performance (2nd Ed). London: Routledge.(Ch 6: Training For Power)

Garhammer, J. (1993) ‘A Review of Power Output Studies of Olympic and Powerlifting: Methodology, Performance Prediction and Evaluation Tests’, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research Vol. 7,No.2, 76–89. [full text]

Gullett, J.C., Tillman, M.D., Gutierrez, G.M., and Chow, J.W. (2008) A biomechanical comparison of back and front squats in healthy trained individuals. J Strength Cond Res Vol. 23, No.1, 284–292 [full text]

Hadi, G., Akkus, H., & Harbili, E. (2012). Three-Dimensional Kinematic Analysis Of The Snatch Technique For Lifting Different Barbell Weights. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Vol. 26, No.6, 1568-1576. [abstract]

Haff, G.G., Whitley, A. and Potteiger, J.A. (2001) A Brief Review: Explosive Exercises and Sports Performance Strength and Conditioning Journal Vol. 23, No.3, 13–20 [full text]

Hakkinen, K., Komi,P.V., Alen,M. and Kauhanen,H. (1987) ‘EMG, Muscle Fibre and Force Production Characteristics during a One Year Training Period in Elite Weight-Lifters’, European Journal of Applied Physiology 56: 419–427.

Harris, G.R., Stone, M.H., O’Bryant, H.S., Proulx, C.M. and Johnson, R.L. (2000) Short-term performance effects of high speed, high force, or combined weight training methods. J. Strength Cond. Res.14(1):14–20 [full text]

Hedrick, A. and Wada, H. (2008) Weightlifting Movements: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks? Strength and Conditioning Journal Vol.20, No.6, 26-34 [full text]

Hoffman, J.R., Cooper, J., Wendell, M. and Kang, J. (2004) Comparison of Olympic versus traditional power lifting training programs in football players. J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(1):129–135 [full text]

Hori, N., Newton, R.U., Nosaka, K., and Stone, M.H. (2005) Weightlifting Exercises Enhance Athletic Performance That Requires High-Load Speed Strength. Strength and Conditioning Journal Vol.27, No. 4 [abstract]

Hori,N. Newton,R.U., Andrews, W.A., Kawamori,N., Mcguigan, M.R. and Nosaka, k. (2008) Does performance of hang power clean differentiate performance of jumping, sprinting, and changing of direction? 22(2). 412-418. [full text]

Hydock, D. (2001) ‘The Weightlifting Pull in Power Development’, Strength & Conditioning Journal 23(1): 32–37.[abstract]  

Jeffreys, I., & Moody, J. (Eds.). (2016). Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance. London: Routledge. (Ch 12: Weightlifting for sports performance)

Kawamori, N., Crum, A. J., Blumert, P. A., Kulik, J. R., Childers, J. T., Wood, J. A., ... & Haff, G. G. (2005). Influence of different relative intensities on power output during the hang power clean: identification of the optimal load. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 19(3), 698-708.[full text]

Kipp, K., Redden, J., Sabick, M. B., & Harris, C. (2012). Weightlifting performance is related to kinematic and kinetic patterns of the hip and knee joints. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(7), 1838-1844.[full text]

Kraemer, W.J., Adams,K., Cafarelli,E., et al (2002) ‘American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand: Progression Models in Resistance Training for Healthy Adults’, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34(2): 364–380.

McGill, S.M. (2005) On the use of weight belts. A review invited by the NSCA. [full text]

McBride, J.M., Triplett-McBride, T., Davie, A., and Newton, R.U. (1999) A comparison of strength and power characteristics between power lifters, Olympic lifters, and sprinters. J. Strength and Cond. Res 13(1):58–66.[full text]

McBride, J.M., Skinner, J.W., Schafer, P.C., Haines, T.L., and Kirby, T.J. (2010) Comparison of kinetic variables and muscle activity during a squat vs. a box squat. J Strength Cond Res Vol.24, No.12, 3195– 3199 [abstract]

Miller, C. (2011) The Sport of Olympic-style weightlifting Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press [google books]

Peterson, M. D., Alvar, B. A., & Rhea, M. R. (2006). The contribution of maximal force production to explosive movement among young collegiate athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 20(4), 867-873.[abstract]

Stone, M., Stone, M. and Lamont, H. (2008) Explosive Exercise. www.elitetrack.com [full text]

Suchomel, T. J., Wright, G. A., Kernozek, T. W., & Kline, D. E. (2014). Kinetic comparison of the power development between power clean variations.The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(2), 350-360.[abstract]

Tricoli, V., Lamas, L., Carnevale, R., & Ugrinowitsch, C. (2005). Short-term effects on lower-body functional power development: weightlifting vs. vertical jump training programs. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 19(2), 433-437.[full text]

Waller, M., Townsend, R., and Gattone, M. (2007)Application of the Power Snatch for Athletic Conditioning Strength and Conditioning Journal Vol.29, No.3 [abstract]

Young, W.B. (2006) Transfer of Strength and Power Training to Sports Performance International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance Vol.1, 74-83 [full text]