View Full Version : Improving clean and jerk

10-11-2007, 04:01 PM
Clean and jerk is the one lift I would really like to improve on. I seem to be stuck at around 170lbs though; I've been doing them for a couple months and it hasn't increased.

So my question is when improving the amount of weight you can do is it more form or muscle strength related?

I know for a fact that my form isn't very good. For some reason I just can't squat at any point during the motion (unless I've already caught it on my chest then do an actual front squat). It just doesn't feel natural. Also I cannot for the life of me get my elbows out. I've had this problem since high school. I get the weight onto my chest but my elbows stay straight. I can't even forcefully push them out; they just won't go that far.

I've watched numerous clean and jerk videos here and elsewhere but I still must be doing something wrong. Unfortunately I can't get video of me doing high weight because my gym won't allow it. :( So here's me doing kind of what I do with heavier weight.


Oh, and I left out the jerk because the weight is so small that it wouldn't be relevant... and I think my jerk is fine for now.

10-11-2007, 05:34 PM
get to a coach if u can, or talk to someone who knows what they're doing and can instruct u on the spot, rather than over the internet.


10-11-2007, 06:40 PM
I wish I could get a trainer but I wouldn't know where to look and don't really know anyone that could give me tips in real life... so internet is the next best thing. :thumbup:

10-11-2007, 08:06 PM
I'm no expert and I'm sure JHarris and Fuzzy will be in to offer their much more solid advice soon enough, however what I see from the get-go is:

You are starting too far back i.e. your shoulders need to be slightly more over the bar. You appear to be doing a deadlift as opposed to a clean pull.

You aren't bringing your hips through at all. You need to powerfully extend the hips and shrug upwards to get the bar really moving.

For the elbows, you just need to practice swinging them round real fast. Make a concious effort when you do the lift to moves them as fast as possible. What kind of grip are you using? Hook grip is usually preferred in OLY lifting as it allows your hands to move around the bar a bit faster.

10-11-2007, 08:11 PM
Alright thanks tom, I think that'll help a lot.

I use a normal overhand grip. I never thought you could do a clean and jerk with the hook grip. :\

10-14-2007, 07:50 PM
What Tom said was good. My personal advice for when you go to heavier weights is the first portion of the pull to just below your knees doesn't need to be fast when you get to that point thats when you want to extend your knees then hips then calves and shrugs. If you can find some of Fuzzy's vids when he extends his hips you can see he almost uses it to push the bar. once the bar gets moving up then you just have to practice squatting down fast and catching it. Like tom said try to swing your elbows up think about pointing them to the sky.

10-16-2007, 04:59 PM
Alright thanks tom, I think that'll help a lot.

I use a normal overhand grip. I never thought you could do a clean and jerk with the hook grip. :\

It's hard to tell what's going on with your form when you are using such light weight, but here are the things I see initially:

1. Someone else made this point, but I want to reinforce it: you need to keep your shoulders over the bar as long as you can. You are actually starting behind the bar and it just gets worse throughout the lift.

2. This goes hand in hand with my first point: you need to keep the bar close to you. In a good lift, the bar is literally next to your body until you actually start getting under it. Looking at your lift, I saw the bar get more than a foot away from you. With heavier weight, you will not be able to reel this back in, nor will you be able to develop much power if it gets that far ahead.

3. I think I am detecting the beginnings of your arms bending too early. Hard to tell from the side angle. Keep them straight until after you extend with your hips/knees/ankles and until after your shrug.

4. Again, this is hard to see, but I think I am noticing you putting your weight on the balls of your feet. You really want your weight on your mid foot (think heels - this helps a lot of people). Then again, you might be shifting forward on to the balls of your feet because the bar is so far away from you.

If you fix 1 and 2, I think 4 will likely go away with a little concentration. See if you can a video up of you using more weight and preferably with a bigger angle of vision and I'll be happy to help you out a bit further.