Pro Tip: Transitioning from the Clean to the Jerk
Written by Michele Vieux
Ever get your fingers twisted or stuck under the bar when transitioning from the clean to the jerk? Or maybe you have to readjust your grip because you like to go overhead in a wider position than where you receive your clean. Here’s an idea for a drill that you can either work into your warm-ups or front squat sessions to practice getting this transition just right so you have less to worry about when you need every ounce of concentration and perfect positioning to hit that PR!
During your warm-up or even the final rep of any front squat set – it will help to do this with heavier weight when you’re more confident with the move – practice coming out of the bottom of the squat explosively enough that the bar loses contact with your shoulders for a split second, which is just enough time for you to readjust your fingers, hands, or grip.
Make sure you are driving straight up and keeping your elbows high until that split-second adjustment. Driving forward and/or dropping the elbows too soon will surely cause you to dump the weight forward and miss the lift or at least throw you off enough to make it difficult to complete.
It is also important to keep completely braced since that weight is going to come crashing back down on you. If you need to, exhale the bar off your shoulders then take a short, quick valsalva inhale to prepare for landing. The valsalva inhale and the hand adjustment must occur at the same time. Check out Zach’s blog post on how to properly execute the valsalva maneuver.
Practice in your warm-ups with the empty barbell first, then work your way up to incorporating them in your front squat sessions during the last rep of each set.