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Nick Hunter
07-30-2009, 06:49 AM
Hello all,

...background in grey so you can skip :)

I was referred over here from the Sherdog S&P forums when I had some questions I couldn't find answers to over there. I've been looking around while my account was activated and am excited to haunt/post here. I haven't been here long enough to have seen all the topics yet, so I apologize if I'm asking about stuff that's been covered.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to train under a Commonwealth Games level coach for about four months while living abroad recently. I've always had difficulty squatting, deadlifting, cleaning, and snatching, but ground it out with weird form. Under him I got up to about a 105kg power clean before progress got real difficult.

My coach told me I was very long through the thigh and may always have difficulty, but would need to work heavily on ankle flexibility to allow the knees to move forward more. Just my luck, I have about 10 degrees of dorsiflexion from a straight leg. Very poor. I've dogged this issue, too, but found when I approach the limits of this flexibility I can get an intense "pinching" sensation in the front of the ankle after either stretching or running. Oly shoes help somewhat while lifting.

Sorry for all the background, my main questions are these:

1) Are there known and practiced accommodations in form, or examples of form/grip used by known lifters with longer femur:tibia/torso ratios I could use in order to get a fluid form to develop power with? For example: I've noticed the sumo deadlift fits my body perfectly, while in the conventional style my hips are sky high.

2) Can extremely tight soleus/achilles cause a pinching in the front of the ankle due to a change in how the joint moves?

Thanks very much for any insight,
Nick

Garrett Smith
07-30-2009, 07:02 AM
1) Yes. Sumo may work better for your limb/torso lengths, that isn't abnormal.

2) Probably not. I'd suggest you look into a good chiro or PT that does "joint manipulation" and get that ankle worked on. The pinching you're feeling is likely due to an incorrect joint alignment that may require outside "help" to fix. You might also try the JumpStretch band flexibility routine for the ankles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKMy8hiuGnY), as well as the foot drills (http://www.coachr.org/the_foot_drills.htm).

Nick Hunter
07-30-2009, 07:08 AM
Hi Garrett,

Thank you for the quick response and the resources.

1) Are you referring to cleaning sumo as well?

2) Incorrect joint alignment such as pronated ankles/ external foot rotation?

Cheers!

Garrett Smith
07-30-2009, 07:25 AM
1) No, I'm only referring to the DL. For OL, you'll likely need to look for a coach and/or experiment with different set-ups (standard, frog stance, etc.).

2) Incorrect alignment most likely between the tibia/fibula/talus. This is the major joint in the dorsiflexion movement that you are restricted in.

Nick Hunter
07-30-2009, 07:34 AM
Re: coach: Got it. Do you know any decently-accomplished lifters I could watch video of who have longer legs?

Re: ankles: thanks again.

Garrett Smith
07-30-2009, 08:16 AM
I don't know of any lifters to watch with that build. You might post a new thread here asking that question, maybe also at the forum at goheavy.com .

Ian Gallimore
07-30-2009, 10:33 AM
Have a look at Szymon Kolecki - long legs, long arms, short torso.

Nick Hunter
07-30-2009, 12:55 PM
He is very interesting! He looks like he is going to tear his LCL every time he lifts, as his knees seem to push outward while his feet remain straight ahead.

John Alston
07-30-2009, 04:29 PM
Kolecki is one of my favorite lifters. He got jobbed in Beijing.

Ian Gallimore
07-31-2009, 09:15 AM
Kolecki is one of my favorite lifters. He got jobbed in Beijing.

I'm glad someone else thinks so. Ilin's 2nd snatch should have had about 15 reds. Not locked out, not under control, dumped before the down signal because his elbow was about to dislocate due to the aforementioned.

John Alston
08-03-2009, 04:42 AM
That lift was the fastest buzzer in the (far) east. The whole games had quick buzzers but that one was the worst.

Emily Mattes
08-07-2009, 06:25 PM
Nick, I have the same problem as you--long femurs, poor ankle flexibility--down to the pinching.

It takes a really long time, and you just have to keep working at it. Stretch your calves and ankles all the time. My ankle flexibility has improved somewhat from regular Olympic lifting, but not as much as it would have had I been as diligent about stretching them as I should. When it comes to the pinching, I just kind of alternately keep pushing at it, do some dynamic stretches against it, massage the area a little, and go back to pushing at it. Originally I would feel a "crack" (this sounds worse than it is, there's no pain), and the pinching feeling would stop and I'd gain a few more degrees of mobility. This cracking has diminished as my ankles have gotten more flexible--I'm guessing as I keep working at the flexiblity/mobility whatever restrictions that are going on there are loosening up.

Nick Hunter
08-09-2009, 01:36 PM
Nick, I have the same problem as you--long femurs, poor ankle flexibility--down to the pinching.

It takes a really long time, and you just have to keep working at it. Stretch your calves and ankles all the time. My ankle flexibility has improved somewhat from regular Olympic lifting, but not as much as it would have had I been as diligent about stretching them as I should. When it comes to the pinching, I just kind of alternately keep pushing at it, do some dynamic stretches against it, massage the area a little, and go back to pushing at it. Originally I would feel a "crack" (this sounds worse than it is, there's no pain), and the pinching feeling would stop and I'd gain a few more degrees of mobility. This cracking has diminished as my ankles have gotten more flexible--I'm guessing as I keep working at the flexiblity/mobility whatever restrictions that are going on there are loosening up.

Emily,

Thanks for the reply. Did you find that you have pronation at the ankle, or a tendency of the knee to track inside of the big toe when attempting to dorsiflex? I'm trying to figure out whether the pinching pain (which is quite acute) is more likely caused by bone spur impingement or impingement due to misalignment.

BTW, how much have you improved your dorsiflexion?

Nick