Quick post tonight but HUGE concept for an Olympic Lifter. When a lifter lands in the bottom of the snatch or the clean they hopefully find themselves with a vertical torso.
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Notice here the vertical torso in both lifters in both bottom positions. From this position they have two options to execute the standup. First they could activate their glutes and keep their hips underneath them allowing them to maintain a vertical torso and strong midline as they stand. Check out this video for a great example. Notice how even when she stalls in the bottom of the squat she stands with relative ease maintaining the vertical torso. This happens because of active glutes. An active glute allows the lifter to push their hips forward as they stand keeping their hips underneath them rather than allowing the hips to shoot behind them and allow their midline to tilt forward. You can see this happen often in Russian Weightlifter Akkaev. In this video you get a pretty good view of his hips immediately shooting back and then he pulls them forward halfway through the squat. Akkaev struggles to use his glutes immediately, from the bottom of the clean especially, and as such is not as fast out of the bottom of the squat. One of the tell-tell signs of inactive glutes is the knees torquing in during the squat and the midline collapsing.
Here’s a good picture showing the results of inactive glutes. Notice Akkaev’s knee coming in and his elbows dropping. His elbows drop because his upper back is rounding due to a collapsing midline. His midline is collapsing because his glutes are not firing to keep him upright with his hips underneath him.
One of the best ways to practice active glutes is bottom to bottom front squats or back squats. Start in the bottom of your squat with the bar sitting on the pins in a power rack or on lowered jerk blocks. Stand up while intentionally trying to fire your glutes and stay vertical then return to the bottom position at a dead stop. This will help you become more aware of what it feels like to use your glutes and also what a stabilized, strong midline feels like.