No matter your fitness level or experience, you can benefit from using a lifting platform to help improve your lifts.

Weightlifting platforms can be found primarily in the squat rack section of the gym, and are visually identifiable by their wooden base directly underneath the rack set up. Aside from that, it looks like a regular squat rack.

Platforms are ideal for Olympic lifts like the snatch and the clean and jerk, and also for the building blocks to these complex moves. If you’re working your way up to completing those two moves, you’ll need to work on your squats (front, back and overhead) to increase your quad strength. A platform is a great spot to be working on these moves as well.

Platforms not only protect the floors from the heavy weights being dropped on it, but also making lifting safer for you. Having a flat, even and hard surface to lift on means you have a solid base to position yourself on, as well as absorbing some of the shock when you’re doing a controlled release after a lift. This will also help you concentrate on your form and foot position, which is extremely beneficial when you’re starting out and focusing on mastering correct form.

Don’t be intimidated by the lifting platform. If you need any assistance, make sure you ask a Personal Trainer for guidance, and use a spotter for any new weight amounts you’re attempting.