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View Full Version : Clean & jerk critique please


Yannick Harpe
08-25-2011, 04:38 AM
Hi there,
I've been lifting (without a coach) for about a year and a half now. After lurking all that time on the forums, I've finally decided that I would post a video and get advice/feedback from other experienced lifters.

Here's a 90 kg C&J (100kg is my PB):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk892tKzeXs


Thanks in advance. I really appreciate any feedback anyone can give me!

Bee Brian
08-25-2011, 11:44 AM
I would much rather see you post a video of your 100KG C+J. It's hard to judge technique with a weight that is way too easy for you. That thing above is something that you can power-clean.

Greg Everett
08-25-2011, 12:27 PM
All in all, that's an excellent clean.

A bit hard to see in that video, but you seem to have a really narrow squat stance, and with your long legs, that's going to make that bottom position and recovery tougher than it needs to be. If you squat wider than that, make sure you're getting your feet out into that same squat position. If you squat that narrow and don't have a good reason to, consider trying to widen your stance a bit.

That could be part of why you're a bit soft in the bottom (harder to maintain back posture with the legs close and directed more forward). If you can tighten up better and sooner, you'll be able to catch the bounce and recover more quickly and easily.

Also be careful with that dynamic start - at the last moment, you bump the bar forward with your shins. On that lift, you corrected it and took care of your balance, but don't add another thing to worry about if you don't have to.

On the jerk, you shift forward at the bottom of your dip - try shortening the depth of the dip slightly and even widening your stance a bit - again, long legs will simply make this movement tougher on you. You can practice dipping slowly with 75-100% of your best jerk or so, focusing on keeping pressure on your heels and not allowing your hips to slide forward at the bottom. I also really like doing a complex of jerk dip squats + jerk - something like 3+1.

You have you elbows pretty high at the beginning of the jerk, and then you shift them down to start pushing the bar as you're still driving with the legs. Try setting a better rack position with the arms a bit lower and then relaxing the grip and arms as much as possible until you finish the leg drive. That movement of the arms can also contribute to shifting forward, and definitely can cause you to lose a good connection to the bar and not get as much drive out of your legs as possible.

In the split, your shoulder flexibility isn't great, which makes the position tough no matter how well you get into it and also tends to make the lower back hyperextend.

Little bit heavy on the front foot from the forward shift earlier, but also because you're lifting your back foot more than you need to and it's hitting late (after your front) - try to keep the back foot as close to the platform as possible and attempt to balance your weight about 50/50 over your feet in the split. Aim to have that front shin about vertical so you can really drive through the heel and push back to prevent yourself from sliding forward as you settle in under the weight.

As much as possible, try to hold the split position for a couple seconds and find your balance before recovering when training - this will help reinforce your sense of position and balance and get you more confident.

Spencer Mackay
08-25-2011, 04:28 PM
Great advice Greg, job.

Yannick Harpe
08-26-2011, 10:41 AM
Thank you very much Greg for your thorough feedback! Much appreciated.


All in all, that's an excellent clean.
A bit hard to see in that video, but you seem to have a really narrow squat stance, and with your long legs, that's going to make that bottom position and recovery tougher than it needs to be. If you squat wider than that, make sure you're getting your feet out into that same squat position. If you squat that narrow and don't have a good reason to, consider trying to widen your stance a bit.

Point taken. My position at the bottom is usually with my feet split further apart than on this video but it's not always the case. It's true that I tend to squat with a rather narrow stance. I'll work on widening it.



Also be careful with that dynamic start - at the last moment, you bump the bar forward with your shins. On that lift, you corrected it and took care of your balance, but don't add another thing to worry about if you don't have to.

For some reason I feel better with a dynamic start but you're obviously right on the bumping the bar. I didn't even notice it when I was doing the lift or even when I looked at the video.


On the jerk, you shift forward at the bottom of your dip - try shortening the depth of the dip slightly and even widening your stance a bit - again, long legs will simply make this movement tougher on you. You can practice dipping slowly with 75-100% of your best jerk or so, focusing on keeping pressure on your heels and not allowing your hips to slide forward at the bottom. I also really like doing a complex of jerk dip squats + jerk - something like 3+1.

You have you elbows pretty high at the beginning of the jerk, and then you shift them down to start pushing the bar as you're still driving with the legs. Try setting a better rack position with the arms a bit lower and then relaxing the grip and arms as much as possible until you finish the leg drive. That movement of the arms can also contribute to shifting forward, and definitely can cause you to lose a good connection to the bar and not get as much drive out of your legs as possible.

In the split, your shoulder flexibility isn't great, which makes the position tough no matter how well you get into it and also tends to make the lower back hyperextend.

Little bit heavy on the front foot from the forward shift earlier, but also because you're lifting your back foot more than you need to and it's hitting late (after your front) - try to keep the back foot as close to the platform as possible and attempt to balance your weight about 50/50 over your feet in the split. Aim to have that front shin about vertical so you can really drive through the heel and push back to prevent yourself from sliding forward as you settle in under the weight.

As much as possible, try to hold the split position for a couple seconds and find your balance before recovering when training - this will help reinforce your sense of position and balance and get you more confident.

I'll definitely be trying that complex. I'll take all the points you raised on board. All in all, I just need to spend more time working on the jerk itself. I must admit that I've tended to consider the jerk a bit of an afterthought. I have very rarely worked jerks on their own.

Again, thanks very much for the advice, it will really help me improve my lifting!

Greg Everett
08-26-2011, 11:00 AM
You can definitely use a dynamic start, I just meant watch for that shin bump.