At the 2011 Summer Affiliate Gathering in Big Sky, Mont., Olympic-lifting expert Mike Burgener shares his coaching insight into the set-up and take-off positions.
Proper set-up is crucial.
“The problem is most people with the high hips are pulled forward off the ground,” he says.
The proper set-up is hips above knees, shoulders ahead of the bar, weight distributed on the balls of the feet with feet flat on the ground and knees out. From there, Burgener says, you sweep the bar back as you push your feet down and extend your legs.
“That will give me the mechanical advantage that I need to explode,” he says.
Having your hips too high and weight in the heels in the set-up leads to being pulled forward with the bar, he says.
“I can’t feel the transition back to where I need to be to be explosive,” he says.
According to Burgener, because the bar is trying to pull you forward, you need to stay back—but your set-up needs to be on the balls of your feet.
“From the balls of the feet I immediately shift back,” he says. “I want to feel the sweep.”
He continues: “That take-off position right there is critical. That’s where it starts the acceleration process.”
Additional reading: The Burgener Warmup by Mike Burgener and Tony Budding, published Jan. 1, 2007.