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Old 12-02-2008, 06:00 AM   #1
Brian DeGennaro
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Default Jumping Backward

I understand that bumping the bar or letting it get away from you will make you jump forward, but what makes the lifter jump back? I used to jump back when I lifted before this summer, but now I am always jumping forward.

Anyways, so what causes the lifter to jump backwards?
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:42 AM
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:28 AM   #2
Greg Everett
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Could be a couple things. If you're able to get your weight really far back over your feet and keep it there with a considerable layback, you'll jump backward. More likely, though, is that you're sweeping your feet back as you pull under - that is, your body is pretty much staying in place, but you're flexing your knees without lifting the knees enough during the third pull, so your feet end up behind your center of mass. Only way to know for sure is to see video.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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I noticed yesterday that while I snatch, I jump back also. I posted in my log asking about it but no one made any comments about it. I plan on filming my lifts on Friday and I can post them in this thread and my log to get better feedback.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:00 AM   #4
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Battery on my camera ended up being dead when I went to the gym Friday. Going to make sure it';s charged for this Friday's session.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:05 PM   #5
Jamie Crichton
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I think I do the thing Greg described. I often find myself having to step forward when recovering snatches as my weight is on my toes almost. However, I do consistently land further back from where I took off. When I checked out some video footage, I do seem to flex the knees and sweep the feet back, so that although my centre of balance is in the same place, my feet are behind it so I end up having to stagger forward or just missing it.

What's the best way to fix this? I do footwork drills often. Also what has seemed to help is making a concious effort to not jump off the ground. My feet will leave the floor, but return quickly and usually in a better position. Is this advisable?
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:45 PM   #6
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jamie -

Snatch balances, tall snatches help. Also, when pulling under, try to think about pushing your heels back to the platform.

Careful that you don't end up stuck to the platform completely - it's good to barely come off of it, but you will run into other problems if your feet stay planted.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:35 PM   #7
Chris H Laing
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Dont most lifters in the olympics have a slight backward jump? It seems like in all the videos i watch, they land maybe an inch or two behind where they jumped from...

I have read technique teaching ebooks and such that have said that it is better to jump back, they were of poor quality and not at all useful, but the coaching vids from WCC also advocate jumping back a few inches, which is why i ask.
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:52 AM   #8
Jamie Crichton
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Thanks Greg. Snatch balances, now there's an exercise I don't do often enough. I'll get on it.

I guess jumping back is OK so long as you're balance over the centre of the foot. My problem is that I'm not travelling backwards as such; instead, my feet are simply landing behind my centre of gravity, so I miss forwards. A lot of lifters do seem to jump back though, I think there's a video on youtube dedicated to just that in fact.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:45 AM   #9
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Greg: The well known video of Vardanian totaling about 400 kg. while weighing only 82.5 seemed to show him not jumping and not moving his feet much, if at all. I tried this; you have to be super flexible, especially in snatch. But I sometimes get stuck to platform. My reason for trying to snatch and clean that way is this: it just seems one can drop quicker without moving feet and leaving the platform at all. The problem is--you still have to completely "unweight" and extend the body all the way like when you were jumping. Any thoughts on that theory? Joe Quinn
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:17 AM   #10
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Joe -

In a sense, the closer the feet remain to the platform between the 2nd and 3rd pulls, the faster you'll be able to get under the bar - but if you really think about it, this isn't at all a hard and fast rule.

What limits speed under the bar is pressure against the platform - if the feet are still in contact, there is still the potential for there to be pressure, even if the athlete is attempting to squat under the bar. It doesn't guarantee pressure - just allows it.

If the feet are not in contact with the platform, there is no possible way for there to be any pressure, and consequently, this is the only way to guarantee maximum speed under the bar. Now, in reality, even if the feet do lose contact, they will reconnect well prior to the finalization of the turnover of the bar. But that still gives a window of guaranteed zero resistance during the initial pull-under.

When saying it's faster to stay closer to the platform, you have to make a distinction between the feet alone and the body as a whole. The feet can move independently of the body's center of mass. Think of it this way - I can do a standing vertical jump and move my hips 30" or so from where they are in a standing position - if my legs remain extended, my feet will also move 30" off the floor. However, at the peak of that jump, I can tuck my legs and get my feet another 2 feet higher - but my hips aren't moving any more than they did before. So in reality, even though it seems like I'm getting higher, I'm not.

Same kind of thing with a snatch or clean. What would slow a lifter down is the elevation of his center of mass higher off the platform than necessary, i.e. beyond where it ends up when the legs and ankles are fully extended and still in contact with the platform. However, what occurs in a good lift is that at that very moment when that full upward extension is achieved, the athlete pulls under the bar - so the center of mass is not elevated any further, even if the feet are pulled a foot off the floor in the process. (for good examples of ridiculous speed with unusually high foot elevation during the 3rd pull, watch video of Vanev from Bulgaria or our very own Aimee Anaya).

All that said, the real reason we don't want the feet floating any higher than necessary to transition them to the receiving position is that it's simply more time to get out of position and be ill-prepared to receive the weight - basically, more opportunity to misplace your feet.
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