Is Weightlifting Good for Sports Power Development?

As a sports power coach one of the biggest tools in my arsenal for athletes strength and speed development (Power) is Weightlifting and the vast array of accessories weightlifting has to offer. But is it really the best tool for athletes to develop the power they need relative to their sport?   Every Sport has different characteristics. Different Strength requirements in different areas of the body, different speed requirements, different.. Well everything. Except for maybe a ball, there seems to be lots of those in sport. However there is one position you see often, in almost every sport imaginable!   Take a look at these photos from different sports. Notice anything familiar?

American Football: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.Volleyball: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knee, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

Rugby: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

Tennis: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

Basketball: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

Golf: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

I’m pretty certain I could spend a minute on Google searching each individual sport and find the same or an incredibly similar position.

Now Weightlifting has a very similar position also, it’s arguably the most important part of the 3 lifts: Snatch, Clean and Jerk. This same position is also the one that weightlifters strive to get perfect. Every part of the lift leading up to that point is just trying to get the bar and your body into that perfect position. In weightlifting it’s called the ‘Power Position’ or ‘Jumping Position’  You see it in all 3 lifts and in most weightlifting programs it’s the most heavily trained. Want to see what it looks like?

Snatch and Clean Power Position: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

Jerk Power Position: Flexed Hip, Flexed Knees, Flexed ankles, Stance related closely to hip width and a Neutral Spine.

Like I said, with this power position being the most technique emphasized and strength emphasized in most Weightlifting programs. The power position is the bodies most natural, strongest vertical jump starting position. It just takes some time to get it perfect with heavy load. All those sports above don’t use external loading or if they do its very minimal during the match or game. None the less the body has to be strong and powerful in this position as it shows all the time during all sports. Without external loading its difficult to overload the body for it to get stronger i.e; you would have to do 100 bodyweight jumps from the power position to yield similar benefits as you would from 1 moderately heavy clean pull (Weightlifting accessory exercise). That’s why I like to prescribe Weightlifting and its accessories. Huge results in a short amount of time from external loading and this power position you see above and in all those sports is loaded heavy and often as a Weightlifter!

Its pretty much the most important position in Weightlifting so we train it a lot. Compare those photos to the other sports above and you tell me if Weightlifting and/or Weightlifting’s vast array of accessory exercises is good for sports power development.

I certainly believe it is!

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