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How to do a Clean and Jerk to increase your strength and improve your performance in CrossFit WODs.

Set up for the Clean and Jerk

  • Begin with your heels hip width apart.
  • Bar is on the ground and hands are in a hook grip just outside of your shins.
  • Shoulders are at or just over the bar.
  • Back is flat and tight.
  • Chest is up.
  • Core is tight.
  • Weight is in balls of feet.

Points of Performance for the Clean and the Jerk


  • Push your knees back as you stand the bar up from the ground, keeping the hips and shoulders rising at the same rate
  • From the mid thigh, pull the bar into the body and aggressively jump, extending the hips, knees, and ankles (triple extension)
  • With a big shrug of the shoulders, elbows come high and outside the bar then back around while pulling yourself under to receive the weight
  • Receive the bar in a full front squat so that it rests on the shoulders with the elbows up
  • The bottom of the squat is with the crease of the hip below the knee
  • Drive through the heels back to a standing position
  • The clean is completed when the knees and hips are fully locked out and open at the top


  • With the bar supported in the front rack position dip, drive, press under the bar, catch overhead and stand
  • To initiate the dip and drive, break at the hips and knees dipping straight down and dynamically straight back up, keeping the torso vertical
  • After the hips get fully extended in the drive, move the feet at the same time from under hips to a split position in the catch
  • Push yourself down under the bar and catch the bar in full lockout
  • With the bar overhead the front foot recovers back a step to center, then the back foot steps forward
  • Rep is completed when the elbows, hips, and knees are all fully locked out

Tricks and Tips for a Clean and Jerk

  • If you’re trying to perform multiple reps of a weight, just remember to reset, get ready, and go
  • Try to refrain from sitting and thinking too long about the jerk after the clean as the weight has a tendency to pull an athlete forward by fatiguing the core
  • A dip drive that is anything but vertical is destined for disaster