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Get Your Metcon Up with the Clean and Jerk
A movement that requires speed, flexibility and agility, the clean and jerk is the ultimate power move for any athlete looking to increase their bad-ass levels, get lean, sexy, and strong. The clean and jerk is an Olympic lift used to develop total body fitness. It requires technique, practice and coaching cues to master, but you can expect insane results if you incorporate them into your current program.
The clean and jerk is a two part movement. Both parts involve leg strength and hip explosivity, practice and coordination. Watch Nikki Perform this movement with proper form and then read through the breakdown!
When you grip the barbell, your thumb should be tucked under your index, middle and ring fingers for a hook grip. This grip will increase your clean and jerk capabilities. For most people, this feels and unnatural, but it can be a important tool in your toolkit. The grip should be wide enough to clear your legs during the first part of the movement.
Start from the ground in a deadlift position, making sure your feet are placed directly under your hips. Begin with your arms straight and outside of your legs, as you begin to clean the bar up, make sure the bar remains close to the body and in a straight line. Your arms should remain straight and act as straps during the first part of the clean.
Your shins should be vertical, with the majority of your weight shifting form the mid-foot to the heels. Next, the torso and hips will begin to extend to continue pulling the barbell in a vertical motion.
Extend your hips when the barbell reaches two-thirds up the thigh from the knee, focusing on a powerful and explosive hip extension. Your hips should make contact with the bar and you should shrug to put the bar in upward motion.
Be sure to focus on quickly getting your elbows through as you catch the bar on your shoulders. Catch the barbell in the rack position; this is where the bar sits on the top of your chest and shoulders.
Reset your feet as you prepare for the jerk. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder width, and your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart. As you get to the jerk portion of the movement, dip and drive the bar above your head with your legs as you fully lock out at the top. This should make the barbell feel almost weightless on the way up. Press the barbell above your head and drop your hips again into a quarter-squat.
If you are just starting out with this movement, and learning the basics you can use a PVC pipe or broomstick. Use bumper-plates if possible when adding weights in case you need to drop the weight quickly and safely.
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