Strength Training With the Clean and Jerk: The Functional Way

December 11, 2012 | Jorge Bonnett

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One of the most talked about lifts in the weight room for strength training also has a high risk for injury. That's the Clean and Jerk. It's a complex movement that requires precise attention to detail in order to do it right. The traditional Clean and Jerk is a sport all by itself!

Olympic weightlifting coaches estimate that it takes two months of consistent training just to learn to perform the lift correctly. So why do coaches love for their athletes to do such a complex movement? The answer is simple: to generate power off the ground...and they are right! My question to them is: Is there a better way to generate power off the ground without compromising the wrists, elbows, shoulders and lower back?

I believe there is a better way!

I have created the PurMotion Clean and Jerk attachment for use with an Olympic barbell, bumper plates and the Renegade (a.k.a. the Landmine, a.k.a. the ground rotational trainer). The handles of the Clean and Jerk attachment rotate, allowing you to maintain a neutral grip in which your joints are uncompromised throughout the full range of motion.

Hyperextension of the wrists is quite common while attempting to catch the bar on the clavicles. Not everyone is built such that the bar will rest on the clavicles. As a result, the wrists take the brunt of the weight in a highly compromised position. This hyperextension can be painful, and it does not contribute to generating power off the ground. A simple and safe device, the Clean and Jerk attachment is the converging point of traditional and functional strength training. It's something that coaches and players can relate to. Athletes do not need to master the technique of the Power Clean to reap the benefits. That was the dealmaker with my relationship with the University of Georgia. When their coaches saw the Clean and Jerk done the functional way, they really bought into it.

The key modified Clean and Jerk benefit is that athletes can develop more power off the ground efficiently and safely. The Clean and Jerk attachment can accommodate athletes of all sizes—even those with wide shoulders. The main difference between the traditional Clean and Jerk and the "PurMotion Clean and Jerk" is movement efficiency. The PurMotion version does not require the shoulders to roll forward to grasp the bar. This reduces the tendency to round the lower back. The chance of falling is reduced since one component of the motion is limited. There is also minimal chance of wrist hyperflexion on the catch. These key differences allow coaches to concentrate more on managing the load and/or the intensity of the lift instead of trying to prevent injuries.

Bottom line: we get more of what we want (power off the ground) and less of what we don't want (complication and injuries). Preventing injury keeps you on the field—performing at your best—by training the way you move and moving the way you play. That's the PurMotion way.

PurMotion Clean & Jerk Benefits

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