Clean and Jerk


Utility: Power
Mechanics: Compound
Force: Pull & Push



Stand over barbell with balls of feet positioned under bar slightly wider apart than hip width. Squat down and grip bar with overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Position shoulders over bar with back arched tightly. Arms are straight with elbows pointed along bar.

Execution (Clean)

Pull bar up off floor by extending hips and knees. As bar reaches knees, vigorously raise shoulders while keeping barbell close to thighs. When barbell passes mid-thigh, allow it to contact thighs. Jump upward extending body. Shrug shoulders and pull barbell upward with arms, allowing elbows to flex out to sides, keeping bar close to body. Aggressively pull body under bar, rotating elbows around bar. Catch bar on shoulders while moving into squat position. Hitting bottom of squat, stand up immediately.

Execution (Jerk)

Adjust grip if necessary. Inhale and position chest high with torso tight. Keeping pressure on heels, dip body by bending knees and ankles slightly. Explosively drive upward with legs, driving barbell up off shoulders. Drop body downward and split one foot forward and other backward as fast as possible, while vigorously extending arms over head.

The split position places front shin vertical to floor with front foot flat on floor. The rear knee is slightly bent with rear foot positioned on toes. The bar should be positioned directly over ears at arm's length with back straight. Push up with both legs. Position feet side by side by bringing front foot back part way and then rear foot forward.


Lower barbell to shoulders, then bend knees slightly and lower barbell to mid-thigh position. Slowly lower bar with taut lower back and trunk close to vertical. The advanced athlete may unload (drop) bar from completed position. This technique may be practiced to reduce stress or fatigue involved in lowering bar as prescribed. Use rubber weightlifting plates on weightlifting platform if this unloading method is used (unless floor demolition is desired). Also known as Squat Clean and Jerk.


Hook grip is used by advanced lifters to maintain grip during clean. Do not jerk weight from floor; arise steadily then accelerate. The Clean-and-Jerk is multi-movement lift. In Clean, barbell is lifted from floor to shoulders. In Jerk, barbell is driven from shoulders to arms length overhead. The lift is complete when feet are in line and bar is under control. Also see:

Force (Articulation)



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