Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting

Lifting The Feet Is Not Jumping - Lifting Vs. Sliding In The Snatch & Clean

There’s a concern among some lifters and coaches that lifting the feet in a snatch or clean is reducing the force in the pull, or is inefficient because the lifter is jumping.
 
A jump is an elevation of the center of mass above its resting level—in other words, the body as a whole moves up off the floor. However, lifting the feet in a snatch or clean isn’t jumping. The feet are elevated off the floor, but the body as a whole moves down. This is the exact opposite of jumping—it’s falling.
 
In a snatch or clean, the lifter actively pulls under the bar after reaching the top of the pull. To do this, the pressure against the floor initially needs to be removed to prevent resistance. Lifting the feet completely off the floor ensures zero resistance and allows maximal acceleration down.
 
It’s possible to have no pressure when keeping the feet on or very near the floor and sliding them into the receiving position, it’s just more difficult to do correctly. Neither is more effective if each is equally mastered, but athletes will typically perform better with one or the other naturally.
 
Lifting the feet on the way down in no way prevents complete force application in the pull because it’s occurring after the legs and hips are no longer applying force against the ground anyway. At this point, all force on the bar is coming from the active pull under with the arms, which preserves the bar’s existing upward momentum as it moves the lifter down.
 
The key is timing the lift of the feet properly, which is as the lifter is moving down, not before the lifter has completed elevating and accelerating the bar in the second pull. This timing is the same with significant foot elevation or sliding.
 
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