Hey, I'm looking for some help. I'm having trouble with my foot positioning when receiving lifts, my right foot wont move and I end up on my toes. It's always my right foot and seems to be more prominent on heavy snatches. Here's a video showing the issue. I don't know if its a mobility or motor pattern issue, can anyone shed some light on it?
In my opinion, this is more of a motor pattern issue. You said the issue is "more prominent" when lifting heavier weights. If this is something that's happening from the moment you begin to warm up, I would strongly recommend returning to basics for a period of time. You're compounding that motor pattern and making it a habit -- you need to break away from that. Simple footwork drills, like going to your toes and then repositioning into a receiving stance ready to squat, will help you learn the right movement.
Then, I recommend doing some tall snatches with just the bar or even a PVC pipe/dowel. The reason for that recommendation is in order to effectively pull under in a movement where the bar isn't accelerating upward, you're going to have to aggressively move the feet FIRST. When first trying this, most people will have a tendency to laterally shift their feet in a simple manner. You can avoid this (and the ensuing frustration) by lifting -- not hinging as to promote a donkey kick -- at the knees, then firmly planting your feet into your receiving position. This is an aggressive movement (and one of the progression drills) that will teach you speed under the bar, on top of getting comfortable and consistent in your footwork.
As you continue to get more comfortable, you can start to add the weight back on and go back into hang/block snatches, and eventually taking the bar from the floor. The "return to basics" portion doesn't necessarily mean that you're stripping all the weight off the bar, but if you're body is not positively responding to the drill, then the weight may be a little too heavy. Remember, perfect practice makes perfect, so ensuring that you have a manageable training weight is important.
Thanks for the reply Javier,
I think your right about it being a motor pattern., I used to have the same issue with cleans but it's not so much of a problem anymore, if can fix my footwork on cleans there's no reason why I can't fix it on the snatch.
I do allot of PVC pipe and bar drills in my warm ups but haven't been doing tall snatches lately, I'll start working them in again.
The strange thing is I think my footwork is actually better from the hang, even when heavy, I wonder could it be the fact that I'm doing heavy snatches at the end of my session and I'm getting tired, my right foot gets lazy and this bad habit shows itself?
When you say you're doing heavy snatches at the end of your session, do you mean that you're doing snatches towards the end of your entire session, or are they after your snatch block? In general, you want to execute the lifts that tax your nervous system the most -- the snatches and clean and jerks -- first because you're fresh. If you're doing the snatches at the end of your workout, then your fatigue may be playing a big factor. However, if the heavy lifts are coming at the end of your snatch portion, then I would suggest the weight is too difficult (not necessarily too heavy) because it's causing you to deviate from optimal form.
Your footwork may be better from the hang because you're forced to be quicker and more authoritative. The same should happen when you start to do tall snatches again.
I would refrain from getting to a weight where you start to have this fault happen. It's important that you beat the proper motor pattern in.