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Centering Yourself & Barbell Club Update

By Sean | In Lifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Posture | on May 20, 2013

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A common oversight among athletes and coaches alike is weight distribution in the foot. Not only while lifting but also when just standing around. I’m slowly making my way through Kelly Starrett’s new book Becoming a Supple Leopard when I had a light bulb moment. Despite the teachings early on from Coach Mark Rippetoe of Starting Strength, the lecture from Mike Burgener and Greg Everett, and now the words of Kelly Starrett, I heard what they were saying but the concept didn’t register in my brain until recently what keeping my weight in the center of my foot felt like, and what a difference it could make.

All too often our default is force our weight back onto the balls of our heels when lifting because the most common fault is for our weight to shift forward more to the balls of our feet. This usually happens when the bar drifts forward or because our posterior chain is either fatigued or just weaker than our quads. A more accurate placement of the weight in our feet is just forward of the ball of the heel, or just in front of our ankle bone. This puts our center of mass directly in the middle of our base of support (the area between the center of our heel and the ball of our foot–see Holley’s post “Area of Base“).  Mark Rippetoe’s cover art on his Starting Strength book is a great graphic to help deliver the point of not only where the bar needs to be, but also where our weight should be because those two things are inextricably linked when we’re lifting.

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On the other hand, I typically find myself with my weight too much in the front of my feet when I’m standing around. Being more mindful of keeping my weight centered in my foot helps my posture and my gluteal activation when standing and walking.  Pay attention to the weight distribution in your stance and see if you can improve it by centering yourself better over the middle of your foot.  Dig your heels down when you need too, but know that too much weight back can be just as detrimental as having your weight too far forward.


Starting June 3rd, the Basic Barbell trial phase ends. To continue lifting we ask you pay an additional $60 per month (in addition to your CrossFit membership) for the 2 extra sessions per week or you may pay on a class by class basis at a cost of $15 per class. The program serves as a way to increase lifting volume beyond what is accomplished in the CrossFit class as well as an on-ramp to the Advanced Barbell course which focuses exclusively on Olympic Lifting. New participants need prior approval from Ruth or Sean, so check with us first if you’re interested.


WOD 5.20.13

Back Squat 1-1-1

Row 500m for Time

Rest 2 mins

3 Rounds for Time:
10 Wallball Shots
10 Burpees

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