Warm-up: 3 Rounds – 10 Air Squats, 10 GHD Sit-ups, 15 Double Unders
Speed Squats: 10×2 @ 50% of 1RM (each set on the minute)
MetCon – Tabata Burpee Box Jumps:
8 Rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds
Burpee to the ground and instead of jumping up and clapping, jump on top of box (24/18″)
This cycle will see plenty of cleans, jerks, snatches, deadlifts, and squats. Hey! That’s just like every other cycle we do! Well, no and yes. For instance, today was the first day most of you have done speed squats. Those were fun…
So with all this Olympic lifting let’s reassess why we should be pulling and pushing from our heel instead of the balls of our feet:
1) Pulling the snatch, clean, and deadlift from the heels engages more hamstring and glute enabling more weight to be lifted (which is a good thing, Rachael).
2) Pulling from the heels keeps the body and barbell system balanced making technical movements easier to accomplish.
3) When squatting, whether it be from catching a clean/snatch in the hole or doing sets across of back squats, you want to drive through your heels for more reasons than just muscular recruitment. There is a phenomenon called biased tissue loading. All it really means is if you bend your knees before sending your hips back in a squat, your patella tendons are going to be “feeling it” more than anything else. “Feeling it” is a scientific term.
Go ahead and try an air squat. Stand up out of your chair. Begin your air squat by sending your knees forward first. How much does that suck? Any of you out there with jumper’s knee? That’s just a hot patella tendon from all your crappy squatting, jerking, push pressing, and box jumping. What can we do to keep these tissues from having this extra loading? Well for one you can stay on your heels in a squat, jerk, or any movement where you must press your feet against earth (that’s a lot, eh?).
4) So lastly, and possibly most pertinent to tomorrow’s work, drive through your heels when jerking and push pressing. Nothing gets those knees hotter than high rep push presses (think Filthy Fifty) done from the balls of the feet. So compress through your heels all the way through the movement. A common fault in a heavy jerk is to compress through the heels on the dip, and then at the bottom the athlete rocks forward on to the balls of the feet for the drive. Let’s look at that in video…