With this checklist and video, I'll show you how to perform a Clean and Jerk. This is one of the Olympic-lifts; requiring strength, speed, agility and coordination. It is ideally used as a part of a strength and conditioning program.
The Clean& Jerk is a full body, dynamic movement. It should be a part of a strength and power cycle. Depending on the intensity (weights being lifted) it can focus on strength and muscle endurance or power.
The set up: This is where the lift is really made. If the set-up is off, it causes a chain reaction through the rest of the clean.
- Feet about shoulder-width
- Back tight, flat, shoulder blades set tight, pulling down your back
- Barbell placed against the shins
- Arms in a vertical line, perpendicular to the floor
- Use hook grip to hold the barbell (thumbs under the fingers)
The Pull: this is where the bar is starts moving off the floor, until it passes the waist. Think of it as a wind up for a big throw. It should be precise, measured and you should always be in control.
- Gradually press your heels into the floor
- Maintain the angle of the back to ensure shoulders are over the bar
- Sweep bar into the thighs
The catch: This is where the bar is caught on the anterior deltoids
- Move the elbows quickly around the bar into place
- No bicep curling the barbell up!
- "catch it high, ride it down"
The Jerk: getting the bar from the shoulders to an overhead position without pressing the bar out
- Keep the elbows high
- Set your back tight and relax your fingers and wrist
- Inhale and hold, using the air pressure of your lungs to brace your core and spine
- Dip slowly from the knees
- Push upwards against the bar and split the feet
- Bring the feet to center to complete the lift
This is a relatively complex movement requiring a lot of technique and practice. We recommend taking it easy to start.
Your program should consist of light weights, starting with the 20kg barbell, performing 6 to 10 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions. Add weight only when you've mastered the lift at a given weight.
Progress like this:
20/5 25/5 30/4 35/4 40/3 45/3 47.5/3 50/3
Check out our instructional video for more information!