Clean and jerk is a lift in which a barbell is raised from the floor to shoulder height where it is brought to rest. With a lunging movement by the lifter thrust overhead is done so the arms extend straight in the air, being held in this position for a short, specified length of time.

The movement is a complicated one and you need to be proper in technique and form to be able to carry it out.

Following are the steps that should be carried out for a perfect form.

Step 1: Setup

Start with the bar on the floor positioned close to your shins over your shoelaces. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, reach down and grab the bar with a hand to shoulder-width grip.

Sit your hips down and stick your chest up. Pull your shoulder blades down and back and tighten your core. Your elbows should be rotated out to the sides with your arms completely straight. Stare straight ahead.

Step 2: First Pull

Pull the bar off the floor by powerfully extending your legs, making sure to keep your back flatly arched and chest up. The bar should travel vertically in a straight line. This should not be pulled into you like during a Deadlift.

Step 3: Scoop and Second Pull

Once the bar is above your knees, shift your torso to a vertical position and rebend your knees slightly. This is referred as the scoop.

Now initiate the second pull that is the most powerful portion of the movement. Do it by violently jumping straight up, fully extending your hips, knees and ankles (triple extension), while simultaneously shrugging the bar with your shoulders. Keep the bar as close to your body as possible.

Step 4: Catch

Quickly drop into a quarter squat position with back straight and hips and knees slightly bent. Drive your elbows forward to rotate them around in the bar and catch the bar in the racked position across the front of your shoulders with your fingertips under the bar.

Now stand up and reposition your upper body so your elbows are down, chest is out and chin is tucked.

Step 5: The Jerk

Dip down slightly and then explosively extend your hips and legs and aggressively drive the bar overhead. As the barbell moves overhead, split your legs and land with your right leg is forward with your knee bent and your left leg straight behind you. (You should do reps on both sides).

Lockout your elbows overhead to finish the Jerk. Hold the jerk position then take a half step backward with your front leg and a half step forward your rear leg, and repeat to return to a standing position.

Step 6: Drop the bar

From this position, carefully drop the bar to the ground in front of you. This should be done only if you’re using bumper plates and ideally, you’re on a lifting platform. If you’re using a lightweight, you can lower it to the ground and then place it there.

The mentioned short tutorial for getting a clean and jerk form can be helpful.

Read about more exercises here.

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