Why Athletes Need To Olympic Lift

The smell of fresh chalk on a perfectly calloused hand can really set the tone for a good workout. Unfortunately, a lot of home grown athletes are missing the full benefits of proper Oly lifting. I coach a lot of highschool athletes. Most of whom play football. The one thing that all of these football players have in common is that they do Oly lifts. Not the standard highschool coaches Oly lifting. I mean the full blown thing. Shin blood, chalk clouds, and quick hips all happen each week.

It’s one thing to convince an athlete to do a powerclean. Unfortunately, most coaches either don’t care, or don’t know how to do it right. They understand it’s important, but they have no idea why or how. It’s like a little kid with vegetables. Not sure what’s so good about it, so they just plug their nose and finish it off. Although that might work for spinach, it’s not gonna cut it with the weights.

I have the benefit of one-on-one critiques with my personal clients, but at the University I work we even harp on proper technique. We spend ample time on each individual; making sure that nobody’s time is being wasted. Unfortunately, highschool strength training can be one of the most significant timewasters around. I’ll drop to my knees and praise the Lord when I get an athlete whose highschool actually taught him how to oly lift properly. Until then I’ll have to praise Him for something else.

With all of that being said, if I could give only one reason for why Olympic lifts are important I’d say hips. ‘Cause the hips don’t lie. Seriously, they will tell you whose the most athletic.

When a proper Olympic barbell lift is performed, a thing called triple extension occurs. This happens when the ankles, knees, and hips reach complete extension(lockout). This rapid opening of all of these gaps causes massive acceleration and power. It’s like pouring jet fuel on a fire. BOOM. Immediate development of record breaking power.

In sports, such as football, triple extension (and the power that comes with it) is extremely important. Like laying out for a tackle.

Jumping for a pass.

Sprinting down the field.

And it happens in many other sports. 

However, most highschool athletes don’t know how to do this with Olympic lifts. The “natural” thing for them to do is use their knees to lift the bar, not their hips. As gregarious amounts of coaches miss the hip cue, their even greater number of athletes are wasting valuable time and calories.

Any athlete or parent of an athlete should be able to see the application of proper oly lifting. It’s only a matter of time before it gets back to the coaches. And then everyone will be doing the triple extension.


  1. What I worry about is the coach that will one day tell my son to do it his way because he's the coach, even if my son is doing it perfectly.

    1. I promise you that it will probably happen. A lot of the kids I coach have coaches who don't understand the form they're doing, so they try and "fix" it.


About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.