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Olympic Lift Types: The Clean and Jerk


by Alexander Kurlovich


The clean and jerk, or jerk, is a two-part lift. First the weight is brought up to the shoulders and then, using the combined strength of arms and legs, it is raised overhead.

For the "clean," the lifter must pull the weight from the platform to his shoulders in one motion. The bar is pulled to about waist level keeping it close to the body; close enough for the bar to brush the thighs. Then, before the bar starts to descend, the lifter pulls their body beneath the bar, secures the bar on the shoulders or chest, and then stands erect.

The "jerk" then follows in which the lifter thrusts the bar from the shoulders to a position overhead, again in one motion, and splits their legs front and back. The lifter then brings their feet together and awaits the signal from the referee to lower the bar.