Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting



How to Adjust the Rack between the Clean and Jerk

There are 4 ways to adjust the rack position between the clean and the jerk.

The first is to stand up from your clean, remember too late that you still have to jerk, then spend 3 minutes almost killing yourself trying to get your hands deeper under it. This is not the preferred method.

The classic Colombian method of simply sliding the hands out and deeper under the bar while standing still is overwhelmingly a matter of proportions, not technique. If you can do it and you prefer it, do it. If you can’t, don’t waste time trying.

A better way is, after you stand up, to use the legs to dip and pop the bar up slightly off your shoulders to create some space to move your hands deeper under the bar and to a different width if needed. Note that you must make it very clear that this is not an aborted attempt to jerk, which is illegal in competition—use a very shallow, quick dip to move the bar only as much as needed.

The best way is to use the upward momentum you’re already creating by standing up with the clean to drive the bar up off your shoulders and create the space you need to adjust your hand position. This saves time and energy, and prevents any possibility of judges misinterpreting your adjustment as a failed jerk attempt. Be sure to keep your trunk and shoulders tight to receive the bar securely.

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