The start position is what sets you up for the rest of the position for the lift. Bad start, bad finish. As simple as that.
So here are 5 thoughts that probably go through your head each time you set up or address the bar:
It’s hard to establish a grip width at the bottom so most lifters would have already have a consistent width they refer to each time. Moreover, the rings on the bar between the knurling is a good reference point to start. Keep that consistent as that allows you to feel comfortable through the receiving position as well as allows you to keep tension during the pull.
2. Foot Stance
Whether it’s under the hips, or heels just a couple of inches apart, whether it’s toes out or toes pointing dead forward, find a stance that allows you to feel comfortable and have the ability to push off the ground as much as you can. Power comes from your legs, not from your arms.
3. Scapular Position
Learning to hold your scapula in the right position from the start does two things. One is that it helps you establish the link in tension between the upper back and the lower back (thanks to the lower traps). The second is that it helps keep the center of mass of the body and the bar close to one another and subsequently the combined center of mass over your feet.
4. Trunk Stability
In the start position, creating stability in the trunk is crucial. It is one of the levers that constantly experiences the highest mechanical disadvantage due to its position within the other segments. Lose rigidity and you will not be able to move the weight effectively through the use of your legs and also increase the possibility of damaging this important lever within the body.
The common cue of looking in front or at a fixed point is often taken for granted. The focus on setting up well causes many to lose sight of what’s going on with their visual field. Our vision gives us balance within the motor control setting. So not having the eyes focused can result in our balance being disturbed easily. Without balance, trying to produce force off the ground is a tough task.
Why only 5 things you might ask? There are so many other things to consider when it comes to setting up such as lever length, flexibility, mobility etc. Yes. While those are important, they are details that should be ironed out before you adopt a good start position. Once you are able to be aware of what a good start position feels like, the next priority is to build a routine for adopting that position consistently. This is what the 5 thoughts I mention are meant for. Why 5 again? Because I don’t want you to overthink things and sit at that bottom for too long. By then, your body loses its readiness to go and be explosive. That’s all.
Strive For A Good Start and Carry On Lifting!
The Training Geek