Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance by Ian Jeffreys & Jeremy Moody

Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance by Ian Jeffreys & Jeremy Moody

Author:Ian Jeffreys & Jeremy Moody
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Swales and Willis
Published: 2016-07-14T16:00:00+00:00

Figure 12.30 The receiving position

Figure 12.31 The Murray Cross

This is not a jumping action, as to deliberately lose contact with the floor means that the athlete cannot exert a force against the bar (although in order to lift maximal loads it may be a consequence of a very forceful drive phase). Coaching the athlete to ‘jab’ the front foot forward may aid this. This is a gravity-assisted action that will increase the loading, which the athlete must control in the receiving position. Indeed, lifting platforms are flat and shiny, and the soles of weightlifting shoes are smooth, in order to enable the feet to slide across the platform into the receiving position.

The front foot should anchor flat on the floor (the centre of pressure should be towards the heel of this foot), with the knee of this leg flexed and tracking along the line of the toes. Some athletes land with the front foot slightly turned in at the ankle (this often provides a more stable front foot position). In this position the knee must still track the toes, so the angle of inward turning is not great, and athletes should ensure that the rotation is only through the ankle and that the whole leg is not rotated inwards from the hip.

Simultaneously, the back foot moves backwards, with the heel off the floor and the weight acting through the ball of the foot. The back leg should be braced and strong, so that it is nearly straight – a slight bend allows for dissipation of receiving force through the system, like a shock absorber.

Following the front–back split, the centre of mass should be positioned immediately above the centre of the Murray Cross, with the hips level. This requires the trunk to remain upright and rigid, with the shoulders also square and directly above the horizontal line of the Murray Cross. If the hips twist, the straight (safe) back position will be compromised, and ipsilateral shearing forces and/or torques can act through the spine.

As the legs move into position, the athlete adds to the leg drive by pushing the bar to arm’s length overhead. The bar is received with the arms fully extended (elbows locked) and in a position where it is directly above the back of the head. Coaching points such as ‘Hide your ears with your arms’ assist the athlete in visualising this position. This can only really be achieved when the bar rises vertically from the shoulders during the drive phase. Many athletes initially struggle with this position (especially those with tightness in the anterior shoulder and thoracic spine), and the bar often ends up moving forwards. This position usually requires the athlete to compromise the upright position of the trunk in order to maintain equilibrium in the system. Coaches may find that athletes who struggle to achieve the correct bar position relative to the bar above the head may benefit from starting the lift with the bar at the back of the head.

Questions are often asked about whether the athlete should always catch a bar with the same foot forward.


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