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Welcome to The Tech Race. Is the posture of weightlifters
as important as their strength? Even the most powerful
athletes rely on technology to prevent injury
and improve performance. In weightlifting, execution
and motion is given great importance, however,
posture is just as essential. Coaches and medical staff
rely on a combination of motion capture
and force platforms to analyse athletes
and push them to improve, all whilst trying to avoid
injury. In Seoul, the Korean Institute
of Sport Science is pioneering the investigation
of biomechanical platforms. The purpose of the new
development of this system is to get
immediate measurements of how much strength
a body uses of its bones and muscles. The beginning of the system
was in the 1980s. At the start
it was just filming, then they started
analysing the videos. From 2000,
cameras using infrared enabled real-time analysis. This is how the system evolved. Force platforms and motion-sensing
infrared cameras reveal data that can determine the correct bar path, time and force spent in each part of the exercise, in addition to body posture. These markers
allow the system to recreate a 3D digital image
of the weightlifter’s body, that combined
with the force platforms, offers information
on the amount of force exerted on which muscles,
joints and bones. This technology lets athletes
and their trainers alike know how much strength
they are using, as well as their potential
for improvement. The athlete steps
onto the platform and lifts weights as normal. The information from the force
platforms and motion capture is combined
and analysed by the system. Lift when you are ready. OK, step back, please. Weightlifters and coaches alike
can review technique and see where to improve, once the athlete is finished, presenting crucial data about
the athlete’s performance that could not be analysed
without this technology. On the graphic from the back, there’s more weight
on your right leg. In figures, about 11lb. Unbalanced.
What a big difference. This system can detect
asymmetries in muscle strength as well as bad posture. 120 years before
these tests were developed, in Olympic Games Athens 1896, the first weightlifting
competition was in a field. Since Antwerp 1920, weightlifting has been
an Olympic discipline, but only for men. Women were first allowed
to take part in Sydney 2000. Because of the analysis system, I can diagnose
my weak part easily, which helps me a lot
with my work. After the invention, the biggest change
is now we have accurate numbers
on every movement. By using
the three dimensional system, we can get
all the accurate data about movements and find out about problems
in athletes’ postures. Jang Mi-ran, Olympic
Gold Medallist, Beijing 2008, has benefitted
from this technology. She trained at the Korean
Institute of Sports and Science to prevent
further physical ailment, successfully. She surely won’t be the last.

22 thoughts on “Increasing Strength with Weightlifting Technology | The Tech Race

  1. This has no practical implication at all, and won't help lifters technique anymore than a great coach would alone. You don't need tools to measure bad technique.

  2. The top female weightlifter from the USA,Sarah Robles, trains in her coaches garage in Houston.Not exactly this level of technology.

  3. It's not a question of having all the data points an athlete can obtain, it's how to interpret those data points. The machine is useless without a coach that knows what that information means and knows their athlete.

  4. For a video made by the official Olympic channel, the explanation sounds ridiculously amateur. The force plate and motion cameras merely provide a biomechanical analysis.The analysis does not tell you what is "wrong" with the lifter's motion, it only gives you the statistics. What needs to change is for the coaches to decide.

  5. WoW. They are not only using reflective spheres. They are using RETRO-reflecting spheres. (The more syllables in the nouns and adjectives, the better…)

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