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Olympic Clean and Jerk

Olympic Clean and Jerk

The Olympic Clean and Jerk is a complex full-body movement. It essentially combines three moves: deadlift, clean, and overhead press. I paid $150 for a 3-week training class at Keep Pulling. So, I recommend you have a professional Olympic trainer coach you for a few weeks.

Pulling Barbell Above Your Knees

Feet are shoulder width apart and toes are pointed outward. Bend over and and position your hands on the bar as follows: place the end of your extended thumb on the smooth ring, then wrap you fingers around the knurling.

Next, squat down with your knee inside your arms. The barbell rests against or very close to you shins. Keep your back flat (not curved) and your head looking forward. Hold your breathe as you pull the barbell up and drive your feet down. Continue pulling until the barbell passes your knees and approaches your thighs.

The Jump and Clean

When the barbell reaches your thighs, you jump and pops it up towards top of your chest. Also, your feet leave the ground and you with a wider stance. To catch the bar, you quickly rotate elbows forward and hold the bar with your fingers in a front rack position. Depending on the how high you can elevate the bar, you may need to squat down to catch it.

Congrats, you have now cleaned the barbell. Pause and take a breath.

The Dip and Split Jerk

First, move your feet back to shoulder width and take a couple more breaths. Then pressurize by holding your breathe and bracing your core. In one continuous motion, dip by slightly bending the knees and drive the barbell up. Simultaneously, you jump up with legs and press up with arms. You land with your legs split – one forward and one backward.

The Catch and Finish

With straight arms you catch the barbell overhead. You must now recover from the split position. Bring your feet together one foot at a time. For example, move the back foot forward. Then move the front foot back. Finish by holding the barbell overhead in the standing position for a couple of seconds.

Congratulations, you have just completed the Olympic clean and jerk. Just one last movement for a successful lift.

How to Release the Barbell?

For a successful Olympic clean and jerk, you need to release the barbell with control. Otherwise, you could be disqualified in a competition. Your hands must remain on the barbell until it reaches shoulder level. Olympic bumper plates have rubber coating and can safely be dropped.

Brian’s Olympic Clean and Jerk

Watch a video of Brian demostrating this Olympic lift.

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