Before we do anything, I think what is most important is distinguishing the difference between jumping and pulling up our feet. We went over this with Valerie during our running clinic.
- Jumping – push oneself off a surface and into the air by using the muscles in one’s legs and feet.
- dropping – to let or make something fall vertically.
In looking at these definitions, jumping and dropping are actually the opposite. When you pick up your feet, it causes you center of mass to fall towards the ground. It wouldn’t matter how aggressively or the height in which you PULL your feet up, your body will not move up, Rather with the help of Mother Gravity, you will in fact drop…. Think back to grade school when you were taught about Sir Isaac Newton.
Take a look picture below. Here is photo I took from Matt Foreman’s blog that shows the lifting of the feet so all of them can “drop.” These athletes are in fact NOT jumping……..
Now, some of you might be thinking how can you not jump?? I am violently extending my hips, knees, and ankles creating a force against the ground.
Thank you, you just accurately just described your “pull.” But what you and many coaches are forgetting is that, you are doing so with an object. Now before you go on and begin to discredit this blog… read further!
In past blogs we discussed the third pull, the part of your olympic lift in which you are aggressively pulling against the bar in order to get under it. Now this part of the lift does not matter whether it is regarding weight/percentage, power or full, you will be actively pulling yourself underneath that bar. The point of “pulling” the feet off the ground is simply to aid in dropping underneath that bar faster!
Please note that when you are working with lighter percentages, an understanding of the lift and and a “controlled” extension will allow you to closely mimic the lift if it were toward a 1 rep max.
Lastly, please understand and in doing so, you are acknowledging that I understand that we know you don’t have to pick up your feet when transitioning under the barbell. If it works and you are continually progressing I see no problem with you sticking with it!
So next time you are working on your olympic lifts try and find out if you are in fact dropping or jumping! IF you don’t know, feel free to send us a video to firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to help in anyway!!!!
I leave you with this note from Greg Everett
“…..Choose one coach to trust and listen to as long as that individual is adequately qualified. You can always consider the advice of other people, but don’t let it distract you or compel you to question what you’re doing if what you’re doing is working.”
- Greg Everett
- Matt Foreman