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Does Oly Lifting Improve Posture, Muscular Balance?

Exactly as in the subject

Does it improve posture? Yes. From a personal point of view, Olympic lifting has taught me how to “stand tall”, tuck my pelvis under, i.e. promote a neutral spine position rather than my anterior pelvic tilt, and also to keep a tight core, glutes and lats particularly when picking up the bar at the start of each lift.

With regards to muscular balance, since Oly lifting has a low injury rate, I’d assume it creates great muscular balance! :slight_smile: In particular I’d say that Oly lifting creates a good balance between front and back muscles in the body. Typically in every day life we under develop our backs, abs and scapular muscles and over develop our shoulders and pecs. The shoulders particularly in Oly lifting, are worked through full ROM, which is often not achieved in other sports or every day activities. Olympic lifting seems to balance the muscles all out. :slight_smile:

Yes and Yes with a couple of asides tho. No matter how strong and muscular you are, if your not conscious about your posture it won’t matter how strong you are it will be poor.

Any good olympic lifter or coach will make sure that as part of a sound periodized program there will be time spent identifying and correcting muscle balances as part of the program, as you cannot be your best if you don’t. So if your a smart lifter then OL will also make you a muscularly balanced athlete.

i think i defiantly does as long as your preforming everything correctly. Aside from the very rare elbow dislocation there aren’t very many injuries if you have a good program and don’t do anything stupid. most programs create a very balanced body.

but if you don’t do the lifts correctly i think it just makes posture worse and/or produces a lot of injury. i see a lot of people saying they are o lifters that do the lifts in such a way that they add to their abnormal posture

if you lift weights in general, given you have a good balance of different exercises and keep on top of pre-hab and stabilizer muscles etc…

I’ve been back and forth using olympic lifts in my training. Just recently I added them back in and the biggest differences Im noticing is my shoulder mobility from getting back into performing snatches, and my posture from the constant pulling and re-learning the overhead squat.

(1) Yes it is a big help with posture. For several reasons:

a) to be able to perform the lifts with efficient technique you need adequate flexibility in the hip flexors as well as full mobility of the shoulder joint. Two issues (tight hip flexors and lack of shoulder mobility) that lead to bad posture.

b) the lift strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, whole trunk (abs and lower back), rhomboids, rear delts, external rotators, etc. Most people have an anterior chain that is way stronger than their posterior chain and that can lead to bad posture and injuries.

c) to perform the lifts correctly you need to reach perfect positions which improves postural awareness. It’s one thing to have the muscles to take a good posture, it’s another one to actually be able to take that posture.

(2) Yes it help with muscle balance (see reason 2 above). I know that personally if I bench press heavy without doing snatches or high pulls, my shoulders tend to hurt. When I do the olympic lifts they don’t.

Thanks for the comments!!!

I have chronic back tightness and the first thing I notice when I Olympic lift for a period of time is that my back gets stronger without strain. Perhaps the olympic lifts will help me get stronger so I can do more deadlifts and rdls without back strain.

I think that done right it can help, yes. But done wrong it can simply reinforce current (not necessarily optimal) ways of doing things.

I guess similar to other things (running and other sports more generally).

I’m a big fan of Oly Lifting for rehab, though. I think it is because every part of the movement is prescribed / ritualistic. I guess I think of it similarly to gymnastics (that is also prescribed / ritualistic). Full deep squatting has sorted out my hips like nothing else. I think that the missing ingredient on my squat (standing up my snatches and cleans) is breath related. Which wouldn’t surprise me after years of smoking…