PAN AM Weightlifting Footwork

pan am weightlifting          As a weightlifter begins his hoist, it looks like he is going to jump. He puts his weight on the outside edges of his feet directly under his hips. Pushing aggressively and quickly against the ground with his feet, he lifts the weight by transferring force from the ground to the barbell through a hip extension.  Actually, his feet lift just enough to slide outwards.   After the lift, he lands in a squat.  Part of his training involves ‘taking off’ from and landing in the same place until it is muscle memory.

Balanced Lift

If a weightlifter doesn’t get his feet right, he won’t get his lift right.  He must position his grip on the barbell so that he is lifting over his ‘centre of balance’.  He can’t be too far forward or too far behind.  His trainer would have made references to the laws of physics that determine his body’s area of balance.  The area changes depending on the type of lift. (1)

In the ‘Snatch’, a single overhead lift movement, the bar is horizontal to his feet.  As he drives the bar upwards, it stays over the rear of his heel bone and the front of the balls of his feet.  That’s his area of balance.

The ‘Clean’ and the ‘Jerk’ are lifts with two sequential movements. In the variation called ‘Split Jerk’, there is initially a jump and then a lunge or ‘split’. In the jump, he centers his pressure on the balls of his feet and drives the barbell upwards.  Keeping the ‘jerk’ overhead in the ‘split’ requires appropriate foot action.  His rear foot strikes the floor first gaining traction, followed immediately by his front foot. His body moves forward and ends up directly under the bar. His area of balance goes from the balls of his feet on one leg to his toe of the other leg.

Go to –

Resources:   (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



PAN AM Artistic Gymnastics Footwork

gymnastics artistic      Even in its familiarity, the balance beam is still a daunting piece of athletic equipment.  Long and narrow, it is raised about 4 feet (1.2 m) above the floor.  Walking on the balance beam is where beginners start. Elite-level gymnasts jump, turn, run, kick, flip, do cartwheels, pirouettes, mount and dismount with seemingly effortless precision.  The riveting repertoires in this sport demonstrate creativity and control like no other.

Advice for First-timer’s Feet on a Balance Beam:

Stand at one end face the beam’s length.  With chest high and abdominal muscles contracted, place left foot in front of right. Turn feet out slightly and distribute weight evenly on balls of feet. Keep toes on top of the beam to prevent ankles from rolling. Align kneecaps with feet. Point arms up above head toward ceiling or extend arms like airplane wings. Looking straight ahead, step forward with right foot. Point toes and place the heel of right foot securely on beam. Continue forward, alternating feet until reaching the end of the beam.

Feat Footwork’ – Olympic Gold-Medal Balance Beam Routines:

2012…..split leap mount, front tuck, two flip-flops to a layout,  swing down, split leap, switch ring leap, front walkover, swing down, side aerial, sheep jump, back tuck, wolf jump, split leap, full turn, two flip-flops to a double pike dismount.

2008…..two flip-flops to a two-foot layout, front pike, standing full, switch leap, layout step-out, two-foot layout, switch leap, split jump, pike jump, back tuck, full turn, cartwheel to sit, round-off, full-in dismount.

2004….. ‘Onodi’ which is a jump backward, then a half twist into a front handspring, then a flip-flop, one-armed flip-flop, layout step-out, split leap,  ‘Kotchetkova’ which is full-twisting back handspring, then a front walkover, flip-flop, back pike, full turn, ‘Omelianchik’ which is a back dive with ¼ (or ¾) twist to land in a handstand, then a round-off, full-in dismount. (1)

[Please check source for winners’ names and countries.]

Go to –

Resources: (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)