What Is A Kettlebell Clean And Jerk

James Smith
• Saturday, 31 October, 2020
• 7 min read

A swift, explosive movement, the kettlebellclean & jerk is one of the best kettle bell exercises for anyone looking to get their heart rate up while working many of the body’s major muscle groups. Before we dive into the benefits of kettlebellclean and jerk, watch our quick tutorial video by Luke Baden, Kettle bell Master Trainer.

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(Source: ironbodybyartemis.com)


Better overhead & upper body strength: By building well-conditioned shoulder muscle and placing focus on the back, working the clean & jerk into your kettle bell routine will boost your upper body as well your overhead strength no end. One of the greatest things about the kettlebellclean & jerk is that when it's performed well, it works vital muscle groups throughout the body, boosting strength in the legs, core, arms, upper back, and shoulders.

Hamstrings Glutes Quadriceps Anterior Chain (the hip flexors, abdominal, and quads) Upper Back, Traps, and Lats Shoulders & upper back Triceps The starting position: After picking up the kettle bell carefully with your preferred hand, flex and bend your knees slightly (legs shoulder-width apart), keeping your shoulders squared and your back straight.

Pull the kettle bell upwards and as you reach chest height, jerk it towards your shoulder, turning your wrist slightly so that your kettle bell rests on the side of your shoulder with your palm facing forward. The overhead press: With your kettle bell resting on your shoulder, keep the momentum going by bending into a half-squatting position, keeping your torso straight, before pushing up and pressing the kettle bell above your head with a fully extended arm.

If you want to prevent injury and reap the full body-boosting rewards of the kettlebellclean & jerk, here’s what to avoid: Don’t forget to turn the kettle bell so it rests in the side of your shoulder after the jerk.

In the Olympic clean and jerk, the athlete makes three attempts to lift a maximal load overhead in a two-part movement. Kettlebellclean and jerk is a very different animal, but the real basis of the movement is the same.

jerk clean kettlebell technique
(Source: www.youtube.com)

It’s about the movement pattern that allows the most efficient transition of the load from the floor to overhead. Barbell clean and jerk begins when the athlete performs a full clean, moving the bar from the floor to the bottom position of the front squat by catching the bar in the ‘racked’ position.

Finally, the athlete stands up fully, feet together, knees and elbows locked. The proof of the pudding is in the eating: Only lifters are some of the world’s strongest and most explosive athletes.

What it has in common with the Only clean and jerk is the basic pattern of movement, and the idea that this will be your strongest overhead lift. Shorten the arc of the swing to clean the bell to the chest and set; make sure you’re strong and firm.

Finally, catch the bell overhead, as you resume a fully upright posture. For most of us who have some familiarity with kettle bells, the jerk phase is the one where we’re going to need some extra instruction here, while for beginners, I’d stick with cleans and presses separately.

When your clean is smooth, the bell should land in the racked position without any apparent force; there shouldn’t be a bump of any kind. The first stage is the drive, pushing the bell to about head height by straightening the lower body.

jerk clean kettlebell arm exercise
(Source: www.bodybuilding.com)

You get here by driving the body upward by extending the hips slightly, and standing up on the balls of the feet. That means bending the legs sharply, while keeping the back straight.

You’re in a quarter squat at this point; standing up fully erect completes the rep. Wrap your scapula and keep a solid core. Keep a tall neck, packed and neutral, and a straight back throughout.

The Kettle bell version of the heaviest Olympic lift, the clean and jerk allows you to build strength, explosiveness and endurance all at once. The Kettle bell Jerk is an excellent full body exercise that requires a high degree of coordination, timing, and the ability to generate maximum power in a short range of motion.

Although it can be used for developing maximal strength, this movement is best suited for “work capacity,” or the ability to be strong, fast, and explosive over longer durations. In competition, athletes lift for five or ten minute sets for as much reps as possible with technical proficiency without putting the kdettlebells down.

Ideally, the elbows are resting directly on the hips (Iliad crests), knees are locked, pelvis is forward, torso deflected back, and the thoracic spine is curved. Two important points here are to first, “drop/fall” into the Half Squat to activate a stretch reflex instead of descending slowly.

jerk clean kettlebell movement
(Source: www.youtube.com)

This involves what is termed a “quadruple extension.” The ankles, knees, hip, and torso all extend during this movement. The degree of energy a competitor puts into this part of the movement is dependent on their body type, athletic attributes, etc.

To maximize efficiency, the arms are locked by dropping into a squatting posture instead of pressing up. Lighter competitors, whose primary advantage is speed, may tend to use a shallow Under squat.

The key is to pick a movement strategy that conserves energy and keeps the heart rate low. In addition, the anterior pelvic tilt this mechanic creates relaxes the quadriceps.

The triceps are turned “off” and the bells are lowered to the rack position via a controlled drop. As the elbows begin to land in the rack position, the heels are lowered and the thoracic spine rounded to safely diffuse the load.

The key is timing the bell to body contact with the shock absorption mechanics. If a deep Under squat is used, then exhale upon landing into the Under squat, inhale during the stand to lockout; perform an additional breathing cycle in the top position, inhale at the beginning of the drop, and finally exhale as the elbows make contact into the rack.

jerk kettlebell clean press vs barbend
(Source: barbend.com)

The Clean and Jerk is a true measure of strength, endurance, stability, speed, explosiveness and anything else you could imagine from such a powerful and demanding (Yet, prestigious) movement. The first movement (The Clean) is done by raising the barbell off the floor into a racked position (Bar across front deltoid in a squat to standing motion).

Then after standing with the barbell, the lifter will perform the second movement (The Jerk) by bending the knees enough to get momentum for the overhead, lift while moving your body under the bar and extending the arms with legs ending in a lunge-like position (One front and one back). It sounds difficult but it’s really simple if you see it for yourself… now, there are benefits to doing Clean and Jerks (Not just for Olympic lifting purposes).

Ok, so you might be thinking “thanks Captain obvious”… but it’s only fair to include strength as the top benefit because that’s the whole point of a power movement, right? The reason it’s used as one of the Olympic lifts is because the Clean and Jerk is a real test of full body strength.

That’s right, the Clean and Jerk involves a pulling, pushing and squatting position to stimulate nearly every major muscle group. Consistently performing heavy, compound movements like the Clean and Jerk results in Neural adaptation, which basically means a “change in stimulus”.

Many people suffer from a Cardiovascular disease worldwide but simply introducing more activity like weight training could help strengthen your overall system and promote well-being. Clean and Jerks are fantastic for cardiovascular health since they require a lot of exertion while involving the entire body in such a full, extended range of movement.

kettlebell clean press benefits arm single exercise jerk workout exercises push overhead kettlebells techniques position training swings
(Source: www.borntoworkout.com)

A strong core supports balance, stability, posture, and your back, during any type of lifting. Every physical activity requires having proper balance and it’s also necessary for normal functions in everyday life.

Your athletic performance depends on the strength which Clean and Jerks happen to provide. Weightlifting has been shown to improve mental health and give a nice mood boost.

Weightlifting releases endorphins in the brain which can greatly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in most people. However, research has proven that mental health improvements do exist as a result of weight training.

There’s really not a muscle in the human body which Clean and Jerks do not stimulate to some degree whether directly or indirectly. Many people suffer from chronic disease due to a lack of activity (We are not made to be sedentary).

Clean and Jerks do provide intense movement of the body and that’s why they can contribute to disease prevention. Well, that’s not the main reason but clean and jerks are a great way to push yourself to the limit, which in turn does boost self-confidence.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

Since that time kettle bells have fallen from and returned to favor, being recently popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline. In a series of books and other teaching and sales aids, Pavel has foregrounded a style of kettle bell use called 'hard style,' which focuses on muscular tension and explosiveness.

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1 www.360fitnesssuperstore.com - https://www.360fitnesssuperstore.com/strength-training/kettlebells