Whole Foot Balance

In the Olympic lifts, we want to maintain even balance over the whole foot. Some coaches use the idea of a tripod foot or three points of contact to teach this. This is what we want in a basic sense, but I don’t like thinking of it this way for two reasons:
First, I think it’s more complicated than it needs to be, and second, it leaves the toes out completely.
One of the most common problems athletes have is lifting their toes off the floor while pulling in the snatch or clean, or dipping in the jerk. This usually indicates the balance has shifted too far backward, but even when it doesn’t, that reduced contact area means less control of our balance—in both cases, that typically means the athlete shifting too far forward later in the lift.
The toes should be in contact with the floor along with the other three points—so really we want 8 points of contact. The distinction is that the toes won’t have as much pressure as the body of the foot.
If you’re unsure of what even balance feels like, just try it in isolation. Stand tall and slowly shift your balance in every direction to feel how it affects the pressure on your foot. You don’t need to be barefoot—you’re going to have to be able to feel it in your lifting shoes, so use them.
Find the balance that places even pressure on the heel and balls of the foot and keeps the toes in contact with the floor.
Next, add some motion—slow deadlifts and squats are a good way to be able to stay conscious of how your positions and movement affect the pressure over the    foot. Practice until you can move all the way up and down without the pressure shifting from your even starting point.
In the jerk, we want to shift the balance slightly more toward the heel, but we still want to maintain pressure on the balls of the foot and contact of the toes with the floor. You can practice finding and maintaining this pressure with slow jerk dip squats.

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