At CrossFit Auckland we invest in the development of classic weightlifting and the auxiliary lifts as staples of our training repertoire to capitalise on their athletic benefits. The Olympic lifts provide improvements in strength, particularly in the lower body, speed, explosiveness and the ability to safely absorb force. This makes Olympic weightlifting an ideal strength and conditioning program for those playing power sports.
For those interested in developing strength at a less technical skill level, we can provide a Raw Strength program primarily focused on the slow-lifts: Squats, Deadlifts and Presses. However our best recommendation is training with our Powerlifting Club ~ North Shore Barbell.
It’s appropriate to attend Barbell Club when you have adequately developed foundational abilities in terms of strength, flexibility and basic athletic movement patterns. In Barbell Club the exercises are expressed in their full capacity under load, making it important that some minimum criteria be met before entering this training group.
If you’re beginning strength training in these movements for the first time, we recommend a minimum three month period of consistent training to allow adequate strength development and progressive skeletal loading.
Flexibility can be measured by testing proficiency in movements without losing form:
- Back Squat below parallel
- Front Squat below parallel
- Overhead Squat in a Snatch width grip
- Rack position
- Jerk Overhead position
- Snatch and Clean start position from the floor.
Your ability or inability to achieve the necessary positions to perform these exercises will identify adequate flexibility, or give you an indication of where you require improvements.
Inflexibility in the ankles, hips, thoracic spine, shoulders and wrists will definitely limit your ability to perform the Olympic and power lifts, and left un-addressed could create unnecessary opportunity for injury.
Flexibility or range of movement is improved over time as a result of a balanced training regime focussing on proper movement techniques and expression of full range of movement through good positions. You can do allot to speed up this process by addressing your specific areas of limitation:
- Perform warm up and mobilisations prior to training.
- Stretch and mobilise directly post workout before leaving the gym.
- Hang out in mobilisation positions in the evening while catching up on your favourite show.
- Book private coaching with a coach and have them assess and prescribe a mobility and remedial program specific to your needs.
The key is to do a little every day, and remember if it’s not creating some immediate change, try something else.
It’s important that foundational movements are established as well as a grasp of the associated technical language; exercise names and position variations.