Lift up like an Olympian
Olympic lifts blend efficiency and precision, as the body acts as a well-oiled engine, the physical elements working together smoothly with ideal synchronization. Instead of isolating a single muscle group during these lifts, multiple muscles are working together to accelerate the movement.
True Olympic lifts are advanced and take years of dedicated preparation, but there are a range of adapted lifts, called Olympic-style lifts, that are easy to understand and can be done by practically anyone. The three exercises mentioned below are all Olympic-style power-lifting movements.
Powerlifting is a competitive strength exercise consisting of three attempts at full weight on three lifts: a squat, a deadlift, and a bench press. However, you don’t have to be a professional weight lifter to take advantage of these valuable strength exercises. Just make sure you are grounded in strength training before you do any complicated lifts, and consult your trainer on how these lifts are done correctly before you do them out.
If you plan to give them a shot, remember that your technique and pace are more important than the amount of weight you initially lifted. Don’t try weights that can’t be lifted five or six times in original form and without slowing down. Beginners might want to keep it light. For sets and reps, follow the guidelines for your fitness level given below.
❖ BARBELL SQUAT
The squat is a full-body workout that exercises the muscles of the legs, hips, and glutes, but it also has other benefits. This multitasking power movement often strengthens your bones, ligaments, and tendon insertions in your lower body. It will also help you improve core strength, since your lower back, upper back, abdominals, and arms are all isometrically trained when squatting with proper form. Start by resting a barbell across the back of your shoulders, holding the bar with an overhand grip, and standing with your shoulder-width legs apart, your toes slightly pointing out. Force your hips back and bend your knees down to the squat position. Stop at the bottom of the squat, and then move up the hips to get back to the starting position.
❖ BARBELL DEADLIFT
The deadlift is a strong hip movement that helps tone your entire body while simultaneously building muscle mass in your thighs. We advise gym-goers to concentrate on a clean technique, implying a straight spine and ideal shoulder balance rather than the full weight. Use your lats to really strengthen your spine; the movements should be controlled by your hips. To perform, start with your shoulder-width legs apart and a barbell on your legs. Bend your knees, as if you were sitting back, while holding your back straight, and then hold the bar with a shoulder-wide or slightly broader overhand grip. Retain your lower back straight, take a deep breath, and stand up, drive your hips forward while you contract your glutes. Exhale, pause, and lower the bar back to the floor.
❖ BARBELL BENCH PRESS
Resistance-training exercise for the upper body, the bench press works for muscles of your chest with the support of your arms and shoulder muscles. If your lower body gets out of the bench as you push, you’re probably moving with your legs and hips instead of your chest and arm muscles. Lie face-up on a flat bench to work. With an overhand grip, hold a barbell slightly above the middle of your chest, holding your hands slightly wider than the width of your shoulder, and holding your elbows to the side. The position of your index finger with the first ring on the bag ensures that you have a broad enough grip. Bring your elbows down to your shoulders. Let the bar reach your chest, then move to full length in one smooth motion. Keep your body flat and your feet on the ground.
▶ Barbell Squat
Beginner – Two sets of 10 to 12 reps
Intermediate – Three sets of 12 to 15 reps
Advanced – Four sets of 12 to 15 reps
▶ Barbell Deadlift
Beginner – Two sets of 8 to 10 reps
Intermediate – Three sets of 8 to 10 reps
Advanced – Four sets of 8 to 10 reps
▶ Barbell Bench Press
Beginner – Two sets of 8 to 10 reps
Intermediate – Three sets of 8 to 12 reps
Advanced – Four sets of 8 to 12 reps
❖ THE HIGH PULL
The high pull, another Olympic-style lift, develop full-body power. A great move for building clean strength, this exercise calls for you to pull the barbell up from a dead stop on the high pull, another Olympic-style lift is for improving full-body strength. A great move to create clean strength, this exercise calls for you to pull the barbell up from a dead stop on the floor. The high pull is an explosive motion, which means that you replicate the act of jumping without raising your feet off the ground.
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