At the camp today at NKC Crossfit we reviewed the snatch progression and used that same progression for the clean. Jared and I noticed something about a lot of the hang positions (top of the knee) of the attendees. I give three specific parameters for the hang position for both the snatch and clean:

First is vertical shins.

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Second is shoulder and torso over the bar as far as possible.

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Third is weight in the heels

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HOWEVER, what we noticed about the attendees today was how far they got in their heels at the hang position. They were so far in their heels that the balls of their feet were off the floor. This causes a problem in two ways.

  1. This puts the lifter off balance a significant amount. The more of the foot that can be in contact with floor the more balanced the lifter will be. Keeping all of the foot on the floor for as long as possible allows for the greatest amount of balance AND allows for prolonged pressure downward through the foot.
  2. Having the front of the foot off the ground can often create a reactionary movement after the bar passes the knee that will put the lifter into the balls of the foot too early. In a pendular reaction the lifter will move from a place of imbalance with the ball of the foot off the ground to the other extreme with the heels off the ground at the improper time. Keep all of the foot in contact with the ground until ankle extension prevents this.

Bottomline, as the bar leaves the floor and the weight shifts backwards in your feet toward your feels, keep the ball of the foot on the platform for greater performance. Here’s a slow motion video in two different speeds of one of my lifters struggling with this problem.

Jeff Germond 255# Foot Emphasis