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The clean & jerk is a challenging Olympic movement that can increase strength, coordination, and explosive power. When training for this movement it is very important to
Weightlifting & CrossFit coach Kieran (Instagram: kieranhartcoaching) has kindly shown us 3 of his mobility drills that he regularly performs whilst warming up the clean and jerk.
All of these movements should be performed with a barbell alone and no weight. If you are new to the drills or find 20kg difficult, you can utilise a 15kg barbell instead.
Here’s what Kieran had to say about his 3 mobility drills for the clean and jerk:
The first thing we want to do is warm up the front rack position. I like to start with putting my hands in a clean grip. From here we can then do some front rack rotations.
You can do this by having your hands on the bar in the front squat position. Rotate the right elbow up whilst keeping the hand on the bar and left elbow in the same position. Then rotate back to the starting position. After this, perform the same movement with the left elbow.
We recommend that you perform 3 sets of these with 16-20 repetitions per set (8-10 for each elbow).
Tip - Now you want to try and keep the bar as level as possible when doing these. The more practice you do at them the easier this will be.
The next mobility drill we want to focus on for your clean and jerk is front squats. We have already warmed up from the elbow rotations position and want to focus on the elbow position as squatting with the bar.
Keep the shoulders pressed up to the bar and as high as possible whilst you squat to depth. To get an extra stretch on this you want to try and hold hook-grip as well. This will keep the elbows a little bit higher, but obviously it's going to feel a little bit tighter too.
Remember when you squatting you want to keep the elbows as high as possible and the chest upright. For this movement we can aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps
The next and final mobility exercise that I’m going to go through focuses on the overhead positions. For this movement, we want to focus on five strict presses with the barbell. Focus on tucking the chin in, pressing the bar directly up and locking the arms out overhead.
As an easier way to perform the top part of this movement correctly, I like to bring my biceps to my ears. This way the bar moves over the center of my body and not out in front, or with my head behind.
We recommend that you perform 2-3 sets of these with 5/6 repetitions per set nice and slow. You can then move to the full clean and jerk itself and perform your typical warm-up sets.
Warming up correctly is essential to the success of those big lifts. Try to incorporate these mobility drills into your routine as part of your warm-up for the clean and jerk to improve the quality of your lifts and reduce the risk of injury.
You can also watch the Youtube video here.