Olympic lifts

Olympic weightlifting is a barbell sport in the Olympics in which the lifter performs two lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk. There two movements are essentially resistance training exercises and so they are commonly used in training programmes for athletes of all sports and not just competitive weightlifting.

The Olympic lifts involve lifting heavy loads, very explosively, resulting in a very quick lifting action. This places an extremely high neural and physical demand placed on the lifters. Olympic lifts are very complex movement patterns and learning them takes many hours of practice and dedicated training. Consequently, their inclusion in rugby resistance training programmes could be questioned, as they may take too much time to learn. If the lifts are learned and performed competently however, especially during youth or age grade training, they have the potential to produce beneficial adaptations to rugby players.