Here at Victory Kid Barbell Club, we do a lot of assistance exercises at the end of our workouts.
What is assistance work? Assistance work is very literal, doing lifts or exercises that assist the two main lifts (snatch and clean & jerk).
Why do we do assistance work? Aren’t the two major lifts enough of a workout??
There are four main reasons we do assistance work. Each one equally as important:
- For core strength. It is extremely important and beneficial to receive a snatch or clean in a very upright squat, if we have a strong core we can do this. Also, pulling the bar off of the ground while having a flat back is necessary to avoid back injuries!
- To work individual muscles to support our joints. A couple of examples of necessary assistance work are triceps extension and hip extensions. The triceps are needed to lockout the arms in a snatch or jerk and support the elbows. The glutes (your butt) are necessary to have strong hip extension and avoid lower back injuries.
- To prevent injuries. The majority of our assistance comes in the form of abdominal work, lower back work, and glute work. These spots are the big areas that can get injured doing any type of lifting, being strong in these areas is of utmost importance.
- To work individual parts of the lift. Just like with lifting with blocks or from the hang, if a lifter struggles with a certain part of a lift, additional work can be done in the form of pulls or presses to increase strength or stability. Needs will vary from lifter to lifter.
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“In the snatch, clean, and jerk, the shins matter because they dictate where the knees and hips can go as well as what position is quad dominant or hamstring/hip dominant. Surprise, surprise; our body is interconnected.” – Coach Mike
“The athletes who don’t regularly olympic lift, may be missing out on things, whether they know it or not.” – Coach Mike
Ask yourself, are you a producer or consumer?
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Reminder, you can train through an injury. There is no need to stop coming to the gym. We, as coaches, can find something for you to do.
“Give all of these exercises a shot and feel the benefits of stronger and more stable shoulders.” – Coach Mike
“The hips being down is the biggest position we aim for” – Coach Mike
“As far as nutrition goes for weightlifting, it doesn’t have to be different than the one we would prescribe for any CrossFitter: meats, veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar. ” – Coach Mike
CrossFit had always peaked my interest, but I kept thinking that I wasn’t strong enough.
Because my parents were always overweight, I just assumed that was the way I should accept I would turn out because I had poor genes.