During Olympic lifts and pulls a phenomenom occurs known as the double knee bend, during this period the athlete applies no concentric vertical force to the bar (it contiues to rise under momentum applied in the first part of the pull).
When double knee bend is completed vertical force is reapplied to to the bar again very quickly - through the second pull. This means athletes apply maximum force again very, very quickly,in a sport specific position (jumping, tackling, sprint start etc) and in the time frames that again are specific to sports movements (0.15secs or so). This gives the Olympic lifts an advantage over any other type of lifting.
Apart from this - all lifts can be explosive - Olympic lifts have to be!
Power output is very high - higher than any box squat or fast deadlift. This is not to say Olympic lifts are the be all of a program but are an esential part for able athletes.
The negativity from people who do not want to teach lifts is either due to the fact that they can’t teach them, or teach them without double knee bend - so never see the real advantage.
As for teaching - in my experience should be taught early into program - younger the better (loading is another matter) - young trainers have no ego and desire to utilise upper body musculature at the detriment of form and technique.
I have attempted to attach a force profile showing unloading of force and reapplication in vertical plane - hope it helps explain. Any one wanting more info check out some of Mike Stones research[/quote]
Here is something that I remember reading but I don’t know if it is true or not: In the 1960’s researchers found that Olympic lifters had the highest vertical leaps of all Olympic athletes (including long jumpers and high jumpers) and the fastest 25 meter dashes out of all the Olympic athletes (including the sprinters). I don’t know if this is true but if it is, it presents an anecdotal case for furthering the athleticism of your athletes.
In addition to the Olympic lifts, I like jump squats and squats and deadlifts with band resistance to prevent any deceleration from occurring at the top end of the movement.