I often hear it said (in BBC's Rio 2016 commentary, for example) that the optimal body type for an Olympic weightlifter is short legs, short arms, and long back. The benefit of short levers is easy to understand (less distance for the weight to travel) - but what does a weightlifter gain from having a back that is longer than average?

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The most successfull general body type for Olympic lifters (especially lighter weight classes) is an Endomporph. Endomorphs are characterized as having short limbs and more normal length torsos, which will appear longer. In effect giving the appearance of a long back

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