"90% of missed lifts are attributed to the feet."
-Coach Mike Burgener
Happy New Year! We're back talking about feet again. If you missed our previous series on maximizing leg drive in the snatch and clean, scroll back through the archives to get a little more context.
In this new series we are going to talk about the width of the stance in the starting position of the snatch and clean.
Our philosophy is that a narrow stance will allow the lifter to generate more force into the ground using the legs. A wider stance will recruit more back and hips. The former is more favorable because we are looking to create vertical momentum on the barbell. A more back and hip driven lifter will have a greater tendency to create horizontal force on the bar, sending the bar further away from the lifter. This violates our fundamental principle of keeping the bar close and increases the chances of missing the lift.
An easy way to determine a lifter's "jumping position" is to have the athlete try to jump as high as they can. Wherever the athlete is able to create the highest vertical leap is probably where they should be starting in the snatch or clean. ...
More next week! Stay tuned!
"Move your feet out for Speed and Stability"
- Coach Mike Burgener
Stability: Wider IS better. A wider base is a more stable base.
Speed: Here's a potential mind bender for you if you're new to weightlifting...
The scenario is this: You've pulled the bar to the finish position...
You've pulled your feet up off the ground and are moving them out sideways to your landing width...
You're in mid air with your feet off the floor...
You're pulling UP on an object while in mid air...
What's gonna happen?
The answer is your body will move DOWN to the bar. Without any resistance from the floor, pulling aggressively on the bar will move you DOWN and under the bar with greater speed.
Land flat footed and balanced.
As we move our feet out from jumping to landing position, it's important that we land flat-footed and balanced. If we make contact with the toes first, we are more likely to lose the weight forward. If we land too far back into the heels, we are likely to lose our balance backward. The bar may fall in front or it might fall on top of us. No fun.
Move the feet out for speed and stability and land flat-footed!
How wide should your feet be in the receiving position?
Recall that we move our feet for speed and stability. How wide we move them depends on a lot of factors: limb length, hip/knee/ankle mobility.. etc, etc.
In general, a narrower stance will lend toward a more forward inclination in the torso. The only way to get upright here would be to take the spine into more extended position. This isn't the most ideal way to load weight overhead.
A wider foot position in the squat will allow more room for the hips to come forward between the feet lending toward a more upright torso and a stacked, neutral spine.
Play around with your foot position and see what works best for you. As you go wider, make sure to keep the knees and toes pointing in the same direction. Knees are meant to hinge. If you go too wide and aren't able to keep the knees tracking with the toes, that can cause some knee problems.