LEARN TO JERK - STEP 1 - PRESS. Learn the Clean and Jerk lift from U.S. Olympic & Team USA coach, Harvey Newton. The first step in learning the jerk is to practice the press. Successful completion of the press teaches a lifter the final position of the barbell overhead. The lifter may either clean an empty bar/light weight to the shoulders or take the barbell from a squat rack. In this latter case the lifter first grips the barbell with an overhand grip, with the hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Then step under the weights, placing the ...barbell on the clavicles, behind the anterior deltoid muscles. Raise the shoulders and clavicles so as to create a sort of shelf so breathing is not impeded When viewed from the side, the elbows are in front of the barbell, but not so much that the upper arms are parallel to the ground. Stand erect and take 1-2 steps backward. Pull the chin backward slightly so the bar can move straight overhead. Take and holds a breath, then push the barbell straight overhead while partially exhaling. The end position is with the weights over the ears and the shoulder joints when viewed from the side. Hesitate for a second or two, then inhale and slowly lower the weights. Rest the bar in the original starting position, then repeat for the desired number of repetitions. When finished, return the bar to the shoulders and step forward to replace the barbell in the rack (or return to the platform).