Apr 15, 2009

Olympic Lifts, Plyos, and the Jane Fonda Outer Thigh Exercise

I don't care what the exercise is, everyone has an opinion about how do it correctly.

In some recent conversations I've had with some colleagues regarding Olympic Lifts, the concept has come up quite a bit. I also noticed an observation of the issue from Robert Dos Remedios (a strength coach that I respect a great deal) last month on his blog (read article here). Lastly, I've had countless conversations with students in my NSCA Prep course over the past couple years that have struggled with the same issue. Point?...exercise technique/performance is a common question and a common area of confusion. Quite frankly, I feel like I learn more and more each day about how to "do an exercise right."

I will say this, though, as with most issues in exercise this is one of the areas where I have to begin my answer with the ever-hated, "It depends...".

All quality exercise performance starts with some fundamentals, of course. I actually refer back to an old NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) biomechanics perspective that was developed by Tom Purvis (if I'm not mistaken). Smart guy. It essentially deals with 6 fundamental rules of lifting illustrated by the following acronym:
G - Goal
R - direction of Resistance
A - Alignment
S - Stabilize
P - Path of Motion
R - Range of Motion

Without getting into all of these areas, let me simply focus on the "Goal" component, as the way I determine the technical components of movement and exercise weighs heavily on this concept.

Case in point:
I will teach a male competitive Olympic Lifter how to do an Olympic Lift very differently than I will teach a female high school Volleyball player how to do an Olympic Lift.

Different people. Different goals and desired outcomes. Different body limitations and structures. Different ability levels.

If these things are true...shouldn't it determine how we instruct people to move...to lift...to train? And, if it's true in this situation, doesn't it make sense that we're going to have to modify or make appropriate exercises based on the INDIVIDUAL (if we do the lift at all)?

By the way, I have a woman who is 50+ years of age training in a group training class I offer that does Olympic Lifting Variations. Before she came to me she had hardly done any consistent free weight exercise in her life. And, oh yeah, she got out of physical therapy for her shoulder right before she came to me. Results? In the last year she lost weight, had less shoulder pain than she's had in years. It's been a process. It's been progressive. It's been modified.

P.S. I do that Jane Fonda outer thigh exercise with my clients. It's a great activation exercise if you use it right.

No comments: