Clean and jerk

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The clean and jerk is a lift that is a composite of two weightlifting movements: the clean and the jerk. The clean portion consists of the lifter moving a weighted barbell from the floor to a racked position across deltoids and clavicles. The jerk portion involves lifting the weight above the head until the arms are straight and the bar is stationary.

Several variants of the clean and jerk exist, with the most common being the Olympic clean and jerk. The clean and jerk is one of the two Olympic weightlifting events, the other being the snatch.


1.The starting position should consist of a barbell on the floor close to the shins, take an overhand or hook grip just outside the legs. Lower your hips with the weight focused on the heels, back straight, head facing forward, chest up, with your shoulders just in front of the bar.

2. Begin the first pull by driving through the heels, extending your knees. Your back angle should stay the same, and your arms should remain straight. Keeping moving the weight until you pass your knees and are about half way up your thigh.

3. Next comes the second pull, the main source of acceleration for the clean. As the bar approaches the mid-thigh position, this is where the lifter should thrust his/her hips forward. In a jumping motion, accelerate by extending the hips, knees, and ankles, using speed to move the bar upward. There should be no need to actively pull through the arms to accelerate the weight; at the end of the second pull, the body should be fully extended, leaning slightly back, with the arms still extended.

4. As full extension is achieved, transition into the third pull by aggressively shrugging and flexing the arms with the elbows up and out. At peak extension, drop your body and try catching the weight while it is in mid air, rotating your elbows under the bar as you do so. Receive the bar in a front squat position, the depth of which is dependent upon the height of the bar at the end of the third pull. The bar should be racked onto the protracted shoulders, lightly touching the throat with the hands relaxed. Continue to descend to the bottom squat position, which will help in the recovery.

5. When in the bottom of the squat position immediately drive through you heels to get into a standing position.

6. The second phase is the jerk, which raises the weight overhead. Standing with the weight racked on the front of the shoulders, begin with the dip. With your feet directly under your hips, flex the knees without moving the hips backward. Go down only slightly, and reverse direction as powerfully as possible. This mean while pushing the weight over head move your body downward so that you are able to catch the weight easier.

7. Drive through the heels create as much speed and force as possible, and be sure to move your head out of the way as the bar leaves the shoulders.

8. At this moment as the feet leave the floor, the feet must be placed into the receiving position as quickly as possible. In the brief moment the feet are not actively driving against the platform, the athletes effort to push the bar up will drive them down. The feet should be split, with one foot forward, and one foot back. Receive the bar with the arms locked out overhead. Return to a standing position.


Variants of the jerk include the old style jerk where the legs stay under the lifter's hips and the lifter squats down under the bar and then stands upright. The main advantage of the split jerk is that it is easier to balance the bar forwards and backwards whereas the main advantage of the more difficult squat jerk is a greater ease of recovery.

The power clean, a weight training exercise not used in competition, refers to any variant of the clean in which the lifter does not catch the bar in a full squat position (commonly accepted as thighs parallel to the floor or below). The hang clean, another weight training exercise, begins with the barbell off the ground arms hanging down. I.e., any position between the barbell touching the ground and the body fully erect. Both power and hang cleans are considered to be ideal for sports conditioning; as they are both total body exercises, that have been known to increase neuromuscular co-ordination and core stability.

The Continental, so named because it was the favored style of old-time weightlifters in Germany, involves lifting the bar from the floor to the final clean position by any method of the lifter's choosing so long as the bar is not upended and does not touch the ground. The bar may be rested on the legs, stomach, or belt. Hands may be removed and replaced. [1]

World records[edit]

As of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, the official world record for the Men's Clean and Jerk, in the 105kg+ category, is 263.5 kilograms (581 lb). This record was set by Hossein Rezazadeh of Iran.[2]

The former world record in the Clean and Jerk was 266.0 kilograms (586.4 lb) by Leonid Taranenko of the Soviet Union. However this weight is not considered a world record by the International Weightlifting Federation, since all the old records were annulled after a restructuring of weight classes.[2][3]

The world record for the Women's Clean and Jerk, in the 75kg+ category, is 190.0 kilograms (418.9 lb) as of the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships. This record was set by Tatiana Kashirina of Russia.[4]

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