Olympic weightlifting and dynamic weightlifting movements have long been adopted into strength and conditioning programs. These movements are widely utilized by team sports, individual athletes, and athletes coming back from an injury. Training weightlifting movements such as a clean, snatch, jerk, hang pull, or hang jump has been shown to provide excellent strength and power adaptations. Furthermore, weightlifting movements trained in the gym transfer well to the field, helping to improve sprinting speed, vertical jump performance, force production, and velocity.[1,2] Weightlifting movements are an excellent way to train the ability to absorb external loads by mimicking the impact and forces seen across various sports.
The ability to control external load, decelerate the body, and rapidly produce force are staples of good athletic performance. Weightlifting movements can be used as a tool to help athletes both improve their performance on the field, as well as their build their resiliency against injury.
Using mTrigger biofeedback during dynamic movements and Olympic lifts can help to provide feedback on movement performance. Once an athlete has safely and appropriately reached this part of their training program, a dynamic movement assessment can provide a glimpse into their quality of movement.
Let’s look at some examples:
Assessment & Progression of a Clean
In this first repetition, we see a lack of quad activation on the left throughout the movement. There is also as a lack of eccentric strength demonstrated on the left to control the deceleration when coming into the catch position. Biofeedback and video were used to show this athlete and cue them on improvements for the next rep.
Here we see a better rep. There is an improvement in quad activation on the left as well as better eccentric control and quad deceleration.
To simplify the movement and really allow the athlete to focus on eccentric quad control, just the catch portion of the clean was performed next:
There is a much better catch and more even muscle activation demonstrated in this simpler movement!
Assessment of a Snatch
The use of dynamic weightlifting exercises can help improve rapid force production characteristics needed for running, cutting, jumping, and change of direction. Specifically, training pulling movements, catching movements, and Olympic lifts have demonstrated improvements in squat jump and counter movement jump height as well as eccentric (landing) load absorption capacity.
In the next example we use mTrigger biofeedback to look at how the quadriceps muscles handle the rapid deceleration of load during a snatch.
Overall, there is a nice peak during the catch of the movement, however, with the use of biofeedback we can see there is a large discrepancy in the symmetry of quad activation from side to side. It’s pretty clear we are dealing with a left sided injury/weakness in this case.
Lastly, let’s look at how the quad perform with the rapid force production required in a hang jump.
Assessment of a Hang Jump
In this video we can see that both quad muscles are able to rapidly produce roughly the same amount of force. Interestingly however, the left quad does not decelerate the load on the landing as well as the right quad does.
When used together, biofeedback and dynamic movements can give us a more well-rounded idea of how athletes move, accept load, and generate force. These characteristics are critical to success against the high demands of sports. Knowing and perfecting how an athlete moves allows them to perform better on the field.
Other ways to use mTrigger with dynamic movements
How to know if mTrigger is the right tool
- Suchomel TJ, Giordanelli MD, Geiser CF, Kipp K. Comparison of Joint Work During Load Absorption Between Weightlifting Derivatives. J strength Cond Res. 2021;35:S127-S135. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002927
- Suchomel TJ, McKeever SM, McMahon JJ, Comfort P. The Effect of Training with Weightlifting Catching or Pulling Derivatives on Squat Jump and Countermovement Jump Force–Time Adaptations. J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2020;5(2). doi:10.3390/JFMK5020028
- Kipp K, Suchomel TJ, Comfort P. Correlational Analysis between Joint-level Kinetics of Countermovement Jumps and Weightlifting Derivatives. J Sports Sci Med. 2019;18(4):663. /pmc/articles/PMC6873127/.