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Olympic Weightlifting
How To Clean and Jerk

Powerlifting Bench Press

The Clean-and-Jerk is the second lift performed in all Olympic weightlifting competitions. Each lifter has three attempts. The sum of your best snatch and your best clean-and-jerk is your total. In competition, the weight on the bar can only move up in weight in increments of 2.5 kg (5 1/2 lbs.).

It is suggested that you find someone in your area that is a Weightlifting Coach, so he or she can properly show you the technique how to perform each of the lifts.

Olympic Lifting Video

Instructions: As the name suggests, the clean-and-jerk is a two-movement lift. In the clean, the barbell is lifted from the floor to the shoulders, and in the jerk, the barbell is driven from the shoulders to arms length overhead.

The clean, like the snatch, starts off with the athlete standing over the barbell looking down, and lining the balls of the feet under the bar. The feet will be slightly wider apart than hip width. The lifter assumes the starting position by bending the knees, lowering the hips while gripping the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.

In the starting position the shoulders will be over the bar and the back arched tightly.

The pull is started by pushing the feet through the floor.

As the bar reaches the knees the lifter vigorously raises the shoulders while keeping the barbell close to the thighs.

When the barbell passes mid-thigh, it will touch the thighs (because of the closer grip, it will touch lower on the thighs than in the snatch). When the bar touches the thighs the lifter will drive with the legs to do a vertical jump and finish extending the body.

When the body is extended the lifter shrugs the shoulders and begins pulling with the arms. When pulling with the arms the elbows will go out to the sides (this helps keep the bar close to the body).

At this point the lifter aggressively pulls the body under the bar, rotating the elbows around the bar and receiving the bar on the shoulders as he moves into the squat position. Once the athlete hits the bottom of the squat he should stand up immediately.

Now the athlete is ready to do the second phase of the lift, the jerk. Before the jerk, the lifter may adjust the grip if necessary. After adjusting the grip the lifter should not squeeze the bar too tightly. Now the lifter fills the lungs with air, and keeping the chest up and torso tight, is ready to dip and drive the barbell overhead.

Keeping pressure on the heels, the lifter dips the body by bending the knees and ankles slightly and then explosively drives upwards with the legs, driving the barbell vertically off the shoulders. The lifter now changes directions and splits the feet front and back as fast as possible, while vigorously extending the arms overhead.

When in the split position the front shin should be vertical to the floor and the front foot flat on the floor. The rear knee should be slightly bent and the rear foot on the toes. The back should be straight and the bar directly over the ears at arms length.

To recover from the split, the lifter will push up with both legs, then bring the front foot back part way, and then bring the rear foot forward. When the bar is under control and the feet are in line the lift is complete.

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