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Weightlifting - Clean and Jerk: Unlock the knees before the jerk dip

Published: 2024-02-20
Weightlifting - Clean and Jerk: Unlock the knees before the jerk dip
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Too many Jerks are lost because the bar pathway is inclined forward.  This problem arises at the start of the dip.  To jerk a weight properly, the bar pathway must be vertical.  If the dip for the drive is angled forward, it will cause the drive to be the same. 


Weightlifting clean and jerk


This problem arises if the knees are locked at the start of the dip.  In order to unlock the knees and commence the dip, the hips will have to bend forward.  This will cause the bar pathway to deviate from vertical and cause the entire barbell-athlete complex to incline forward.  This will move the center of pressure forward from the heels. 

The ensuing drive will then have a slight forward incline.  This drive will be slightly less powerful and places undue pressure on the front foot in the split.  This can result in a short forward step which will place the athlete’s torso behind the bar pathway.  When the athlete is airborne in the split, the first foot to get traction will force the athlete to move in the opposite direction.  If the front foot is short-stepping and gains traction first, the athlete’s body will be pushed backward away from the bar pathway. 

Fixing this situation is relatively easy.  Start the dip for the jerk with the knees unlocked.  They don’t have to be visibly bent, just slightly unlocked.  Ideally, the best approach is to come out of the squat clean and only rise to the unlocked position.  From this point, the vertical dip and subsequent drive can commence. 



Read the full article on breaking down The Olympic Weightlifting lifts.


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