Not every professional powerlifter is known for performing with the biggest and most explosive lift. Most powerlifters in their training routine are known for focusing on a range of olympic lifting exercises specifically used to develop elite strength, size, and enhance their speed by recruiting their fast-twitch muscle fibers. By targeting these muscle fibers, the powerlifter can not only increase the amount of weight lifted but can also move the weight at a much faster pace like olympic lifting that enhance their muscle build and strength.
What is Olympic lifting?
However, many of the effectively recognized power moves such as Olympic lifts are known to require the use of bumper plates when performing exercises such as the snatch or clean. Using bumper plates not only protect the weightlifter from experiencing any injury during the event of dropping the weight, but also to remove the extensive amount of eccentric stress on the body. Nonetheless many fitness gyms are known for not including and even strictly forbid the dropping of weights or use of bumper plates during the workout session. So we will be showing you some effective olympic lifting exercises you can do at your local gym without the use of bumper plates. With these power exercises you can effectively target your fast-twitch muscle fibers without having to drop the weights.
The Single-arm Dumbbell Snatch
The Dumbbell snatch has been widely used by professional powerlifters and bodybuilders today to build thick upper-traps, massive legs and a strong core. Having said that, without the use of bumper plates, the traditional barbell snatch can wreck havoc on your shoulder muscles while lowering the weight. Hence our solution – the Single-arm Dumbbell snatch
- Begin the exercise by using an overhand grip to grab the dumbbell in one hand and stand upright with your feet apart slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Lower your hips towards the floor until your knees are bent at an angle of 90 degrees and the dumbbell touching the floor.
- Quickly pull the dumbbell upwards to the ceiling, simultaneously extending your hips and knees elevating your body to an upright position standing on the balls of your feet, keeping the dumbbell close to your body.
- As the dumbbell reaches its maximum height, quickly rotate your elbow pressing the weight overhead bringing the dumbbell to rest over the top of your shoulders and your palm facing outwards from your body.
- Repeat for the required number of reps.
Band-Resisted Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing is a proven exercise used by many fitness professionals today to develop lower body strength. However if you want to take your explosive performance to the next plateaux, adding some resistance to the exercise with the use of a long exercise band is the best way to go.
- Begin by first wrapping one end of the resistance band around the handle of the kettlebell standing on the other end.
- Hold the kettlebell in both hands using an overhand grip, feet at shoulder-width apart.
- Slightly bend both your knees, hips backward, chest out and hanging your torso parallel to the floor.
- In this position your arms should be fully extended with the kettlebell hanging in-between your legs above the floor.
- Thrust your hips forward, contracting your gluteus elevating your body and use the momentum created (not your muscles) to swing the kettlebell in a forward and upward direction until it reaches your shoulder height
- Allow the kettlebell to fall back down and repeat.
Olympic lifting for the beginner and even the most experienced fitness individual is a fun sport and can make for an excellent workout. For safety reasons, one should always or whenever possible, perform overhead lifts with the use of rubber number plates allowing the weights used to be dropped in a controlled manner.