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Om Yun-Chol (56kg), North Korea, 160kg clean & jerk, 2015 World Championships, Huston, USA. With a total of 302kg, a 171kg WR clean & jerk and 131kg snatch. Om Yun-Chol was the gold medalist.

Triple extension is a large contributor to powerful movements since it combines the force generated from the ankle plantar flexors, knee extensors, and the hip extensors together to achieve a synergistic effect. Meaning the combined force generated from the triple extension will be higher than the sum of the forces generated by the independent extension of each individual joint.

Weightlifting is far from the only sport which depends on triple extension. Sports like sprinting, gymnastics, football, volleyball, basketball, javelin, and loads more include triple extension, at least to some degree. However, hardly any of these sports rely on triple extension to the same extent as weightlifting does since the triple extension is highly correlated with success in the olympic lifts.

In other sports triple extension is done in a repetitive manner. A football player will on average jump every 5-6 minutes throughout a 90 minute game, where the height of every jump is highly depended on the ability to execute a good triple extension. Nonetheless, failure to do so will not have the same consequences as it would in weightlifting.

The most common mistake done by beginners is cutting the triple extension. They’re afraid of what will happen when the bars will brush off their hips. They’re right to be afraid, it is very scary when you’ve not done it before, however, what they don’t know is that when they hit the triple extension perfectly for the first time the bar will fly upwards, and the lift will be so much easier to execute. To get to the point, the easiest way to detect whether an athlete has successfully achieved full triple extension is to take a look at their feet. The higher the heels are off the platform the greater the extension. Although there are cases where an athlete will be on their toes but not extending fully, with the vast majority of athletes you’ll notice the lack of space between the heel and the platform to be a good sign of an extension cut short.

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