O-Lifting 8/4/11

Olympic Lifting Footwork

Written by Sage Burgener

(Courtesy of CrossFit Invictus Blog)

In case you are not familiar with Sage, she is an outstanding Olympic lifter trained by the one and only Mike Burgener, who will be here teaching a seminar on Wednesday August 17th.  Click Here for sign up and registration.


Lets talk footwork

Everyone knows that getting under a barbell is scary stuff.  We don’t trust our overhead squat and we don’t trust our front squat, so, we shy away from receiving heavy weight in those two positions…aka receiving a snatch or clean.  That hesitation causes one of the MOST common technical mistakes I see in the Olympic lifts: people throwing their feet out wide.

No one ever said that the fastest way to a pretty snatch or clean was through a wide stance. So, why do we do it?? We try to get depth by jumping our feet out into a quarter split position instead of landing in our squat stance.  And why do we do that?!!? Because we all have commitment issues.

Now, I’m not going to get into the many ways Olympic weightlifting can reveal things about you and your relationships because that would take away from me psychoanalyzing athletes through their technique.  However, I am going to tell you how to fix your footwork problems.

If you are one of the many lifters who land wider in the snatch and clean (by wider I mean wider than your back squat/front squat stance) you need to use cones when practicing the Olympic lifts.  In the back of the gym, we have orange cones by the foam rollers.  Take two orange cones, line your feet up in your squat stance, and place the cones outside your feet.  Now that the cones are set, reset your stance with your feet right under your hips in preparation to snatch or clean. When you have completed the movement, look down and see where your feet are in relation to the cones.  Having the visual can do wonders for a lifter, and will most likely solve your problem if you practice enough.

If the cones don’t solve the problem, small children and baby animals have proven to be even more effective.


3-position Snatch (floor, knee, mid-thigh) – 65% x 2 sets; 70% x 3 sets

Snatch High Pull – 90% (of snatch) x 5 x 4

Snatch push press – 70% x 5 x 3; 75% x 5 x 2

Abs Wheel- 3 x 15


Posted on: August 4, 2011admin

3 thoughts on “O-Lifting 8/4/11

  1. You can find me landing in a Quarter Split any time I do a heavy snatch or clean. I think the cones would definitely help but I think one of the reasons I do it is because I simply don’t have the leg strength to land in a full squat at my highest weights on the snatch and clean. My max front squat is weaker than my max clean. Same with my max overhead squat and snatch. I guess this just means I need to do a lot more squats of all varieties!

  2. Dom, thanks for a great O-Lifting class tonight! It was my first time coming, and certainly won’t be the last! The coaching you gave me today helped me improve my technique a hundred fold, even though they were just little adjustments I needed to make. My confidence on a full squat snatch went WAY up! I can’t wait for next weeks class!

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