Ever wonder why we utilize the Olympic Lifts and there accessory movements in CrossFit?
Here’s the short answer. They recruit more muscle fiber than any other exercise and they challenge you to master the 10 general physical skills required for optimal physical competence.
Let’s check out the Snatch Balance.
This is NOT a leg strength movement even though it involves a squat.
Position First, Load Second. For most of us this will be a mobility exercise. Working our shoulders, thoracic spine, hips and ankles. As our mobility improves the Snatch Balance can be used strengthen and build stability in the shoulders and core. Only then do we increase the load. Another great thing about this movement is, it helps us become comfortable getting weight overhead.
BUT I want Abs!! Well the primary role of your Abs and Core is antiextension and antiflexion. If you have a loaded barbell overhead, your core must keep you from falling forward or backward. Now add a dynamic movement by pressing overhead as you squat and that makes your core work a lot harder, because your center of gravity is now higher and you are moving.
You want ABs ditch the sit-ups and start squatting and deadlifting HEAVY. That’s a topic for another day though.
So next time you look at the WOD and see an Olympic Lift get excited. Don’t just go through the he motion, attack it with purpose, use it as a tool to improve your MOBILITY, STABILITY, and STRENGTH.