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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-30-2006, 01:33 AM   #1
Steven Nedorolik
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So during yesterdays workout, I got thinking...

while doing Thrusters, is the proper movement to drive through the heels in the lower portion (it IS a front squat) but then "pop" at the end using my toes?

OR

only heel through the whole movement?

I'm thinking, because its more of an explosive move that the "jump" or "pop" with the toes is a good thing.
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Old 05-30-2006, 04:52 AM   #2
Larry Lindenman
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Drive through the heels and if you push hard enough, you will go up onto your toes. You don't have to though, just get to full extension.
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:18 AM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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I may be wrong, but I think the idea in all the lifts is to use the whole foot. I often hear people talk about using "heels only" and I think that is an overcompensation for people being told to keep their heels down.

Generally people tend to come up off their heels and use their toes for several reasons: too much forward inclination of the torso; poor flexibility; and bad habit. Therefore, we are often reminded to keep our heels down. I don't think this means lift your toes up and lift only with your heels. Ideally, the lifter should press through the ball of the foot and the heel equally.

You can think of the ball of the foot as an agent of the quadriceps and the heel as an agent of the hamstrings. Failure of the agent to keep contact with the ground indicates a failure of the principal to fire. Thus creating an imbalance around the knee joint and also limiting the overall force that can be applied.

The only real debate about the heels is in the snatch & the clean. The traditional way people have been taught in the States is that most explosive part of the lift, the "second pull," should involve a "triple extension": ankles, knees and hips should extend fully. Full ankle extension means coming up on your toes and lifting your heels.

There is another school of thought that teaches you to keep the heels down through the explosion because it allows greater drive and more force to be applied and also facilitates greater knee and hip extension. The only time the heels come up in that style of lift is when you move the feet out to the landing position and pull yourself under the bar.

To be clear, both styles of lifting require your to lift with the whole foot, NOT the heels only. The point where the heels lifting becomes an issue is at the point of full extension. Lifters have used both styles to lift hundreds of kilos and is essentially a personal choice.

As for Steven's question, Larry is right. Keep your heels down and drive through the whole foot from the bottom of squat up through the top. If the heels lift at the point of full extension that's fine. If you feel that the extra drive up onto the toes works for you at the point of full extension that's fine. However, the finishing position of the thruster is with the feet flat and the bar locked out over your head. Don't get into the bad habit of not finishing the lift. A lot of zealous crossfitters have the habit of not completing the rep fully because they are flying thru the reps for time. Take that moment at the top to make sure you arms are locked out, your feet are flat and the bar is over (not just above) the head.

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:44 PM   #4
Steven Nedorolik
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Great post Keith.

for the record, I usually press flat footed, then near full extension, raise up on my toes; coming back down wehn my elbows lock at the top.
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:40 AM   #5
Larry Lindenman
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Steven, you got it. Try not going up on your toes and see if you could cycle faster. If you start to use heavier weights, you may not be able to get up on the toes!
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