Two days ago I posted an article on what happens when lifters put too much weight in their heels. I was happily surprised to see this article get some publicity. Multiple people thought this idea was worth re-blogging and talking about. However, I also got multiple comments on how to fix this problem. If you are clueless to what I’m talking about click this link and read the article about what happens when you get too far in your heels off the floor.
To be honest, this is a technical fault I just started to realize had as big an impact on the lifts as it does. Therefore, the solutions I’ve created to this problem are relatively new or borrowed from somebody else.
The easiest and most successful solution to this problem comes in the form of a basic first pull or otherwise called a liftoff. I will put lifters on a rubber mat with about an inch of their shoe hanging off the back of the rubber mat. (Depending on the size of the lifters foot that amount of shoe hanging off of the rubber mat varies.) Let it be stated that I would never, never have a lifter complete a lift with their feet hanging off the edge of a mat. A full, properly executed left will send the lifter back 3 to 5 cm if performed correctly. That means their feet will move back 3 to 5 cm and if they are starting with some of their foot hang off the back of the mat then it will likely end in disaster as they jump off the mat backwards. However, this set up is very good for doing just a first pull. I will have lifters pull the bar from the floor to the top of the knee and back down in sets of three or five depending on the weight. This really forces the lifter to keep the foot flat for a long period of time because if they get too far the heels they will become unbalanced and slide off the back of the mat.
The second fix is far less sexy or new. Have lifters complete the full movements from boxes or from the hang position at the top of the knee or the bottom of the knee. If they’re completing the movements from the boxes then make sure their feet are absolutely flat before they begin the movement. Do not let them pull their toes off the ground as they start the movement. Furthermore, if the lifter’s going from the hang one of the best exercises I found for this problem is to have them pause at the bottom of the knee or the top of the knee before completing the movement. This will force the lifter to be balanced at the starting position from the hang and forces them to keep their feet flat. Knowing that a flatfoot position at the top of the knee is most balanced, then forcing the lifter to pause at that position will encourage balance and also encourage keeping as much foot on the ground before beginning the the second pull. This will create good habits which will then later translate to good habits at maximal level lifts.
Let me reemphasize that this problem is a relatively new problem that I have identified. Therefore the solutions I have named in this blog are relatively new solutions that I’m using to correct this problem. My challenge to you if you’re reading this blog is to be creative. Try different things and see what works to correct this problem. The fact of the matter is thar this technical fault will create bad habits in your lifts. How that problem is fixed can be done any different way. Be creative and see what works. These are just my suggestions that I have seen work in the past.