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How to Build Jumping Ability in Weightlifters

Weightlifters are legendary for their vertical jumping abilities, and that may be one of the factors that makes the snatch, clean, and jerk so attractive to strength and conditioning coaches anxious to develop “hops” in their athletes. Some observers, however, have noted that perhaps the lifts weren’t so much the cause of the jumping proficiency as they were symptoms of selected athletes who already had exceptional jumping skill.

It appears both viewpoints are true. Most talented weightlifters are exceptional jumpers and performing the snatch and the clean and jerk properly enhances jumping ability. It is the movement pattern employed by the legs and hips in jumping that is also instrumental in developing great pulling power.

Jumping ability is often a selection factor in the talent identification process for state sponsored weightlifting programs. It has been reported that weightlifters in elite programs are expected to be able to jump, with a countermove, up onto a platform set at nipple height. I’ve personally seen members of the USA weightlifting team jump up to a platform level with the athletes’ clavicles. This ability is partially due to great leg strength and also to a proper extension pattern of the legs and hips.

Those aspiring to improve their weightlifting results need to improve jumping ability, and this is best done early in the athletic development. Jumping movements can be learned and practiced during pre-adolescence, and are of great value for the developing weightlifter. As long as they are not practiced excessively to the point of joint trauma, jumping movements are an extremely valuable component of early athletic development.

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Source: Breaking Muscle
Written by Bob Takano
Contributor – Olympic Weightlifting