The Crossfit Clean and Jerk

If you’re a CrossFit enthusiast looking to develop total-body fitness, then perfecting the clean and jerk should be mission #1. To tackle one of the most common Olympic-style lifts you’ll have to work at combining the CrossFit clean and jerk into one seamless movement. The key to do this is to use the correct form and only lift what you are comfortable with. When done properly done, the CrossFit clean and jerk can be a great addition to any workout.


The Clean

You may want to tape your wrists to stabilize them during the lift and use gymnastics chalk on your hands to prevent slippage. Gently place the appropriate amount of weights on either side of the barbell. Be sure the weights are secure onto the barbell before proceeding. Grip the barbell with your thumb tucked under your index finger. Your middle and ring fingers should form a hook grip. Place your feet directly under your hips and position your shoulders in front of the barbell, with the barbell positioned over your feet.

Keeping your chest up and arms straight, pull the barbell off of the ground. Your feet should be flat on the floor during this entire movement. With your weight shifting from the middle of your foot to your heels, extend your torso and hips and continue to pull the barbell up vertically. When the barbell is 2/3rds of the way up toward your thigh, fully extend through your hips, touching the barbell to your thigh.

Using a shoulder shrugging motion, push the barbell upward. Then, drop your hips into a squatting position, catching the barbell in the rack position. The bar may set on top of your chest and shoulders. Stand up and out of the squatted position to prepare for the jerk.

The Jerk

Before doing the jerk, you may need to readjust your feet and your grip on the barbell. Making sure your hands and feet are apart, slightly wider than your shoulders, drop your hips to build up enough kinetic energy for the jerk. Next, drive your legs upward forcefully, without hesitation to generate enough energy and force for the jerk. Now the barbell should be over your head, hips dropped and in a quarter-like squat position. To release the barbell, stand up out of the squatted position and drop the barbell when your feet have come together and when your hips are fully extended.

Mastering the clean and jerk is easier said than done. It is always best to practice this movement only with certified CrossFit clean and jerk specialists. Doing any of the steps incorrectly could cause damage to your body. For more CrossFit clean and jerk tips and tricks, follow our Rally Fitness blog.

Leave a comment