Are you looking to add a functional strength exercise to your work. Hang clean and jerk is an excellent choice. As the name suggests, it’s made up of two different types of workouts:
- Hang clean
Hang clean is a compound exercise that works on the whole body. It’s performed by lifting a barbell from the knees to an overhead position in one fluid motion. It targets the abs, back, biceps, hamstrings, quadriceps, and shoulders.
Jerk is a compound exercise that involves lifting a barbell from the ground to an overhead position with one forceful movement of both arms.
When these two workouts are combined to a hang clean and jerk, you get the best explosive exercise to build functional strength and give your body a complete workout.
HOW TO DO HANG CLEAN AND JERK PROPERLY
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Your toes should point forward, and your heels should point outward. Shoulders should be nicely over the bar.
- Brace your core, and then lift the barbell from the ground to rest on your thighs just above the knees. Do this by bending at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight. Remember to maintain a controlled but not overly firm grip during the movement.
- Pull the bar up to your chest with a fast thrust of your legs and arms while quickly rotating it over your head. Make sure the bar is close to your body.
- At this time, the hands will grasp the bar just outside of hip height. The elbows will be pulled down to keep them tight on your body.
- Shift into a lunge position with one leg crossing in front of the other as you quickly stand up straight. Ensure you entirely lock your arm.
- Drop into a deep squat position and catch the bar on the front of your shoulder.
- Then shift back into a lunge position with both feet flat on the floor (or still elevated).
- Shift back up into an overhead squat position, and then lower yourself down into another deep squat position before pressing upward again for one more repetition.
- To make this move more challenging, increase repetitions or add weights.
WHAT MUSCLES DO HANG CLEAN AND JERK WORK?
Hang clean and jerk primarily works the glutes, front deltoids, lower back, adductors, and quads. It also works secondary muscles such as the trapezius, forearm flexors, lateral deltoid, and calves.
In general, these exercises work your whole body, emphasizing your shoulders, arms, and legs.
HANG CLEAN AND JERK BENEFITS
You get to enjoy many fitness benefits if you master how to do the hang clean and jerk correctly. Here are some benefits:
WORKS ON THE WHOLE BODY
Hang clean and jerk is a full-body exercise that targets important muscles in your body. It helps you build muscles across your body, resulting in athletic fitness.
HELPS TRAIN RAPID FORCE PRODUCTION
This exercise helps in producing maximum force in an instant. Things mean it enables you to become fast while lifting weights.
This helps strengthen and build muscle. It also helps create energy and endurance, which is helpful in any weight lifting workout.
IT BOOSTS YOUR OVERALL FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH
This exercise works different muscles and joints together simultaneously. This helps strengthen muscles and joints, which you use in your daily activities, thus reducing injuries and pain.
ENHANCE MOTOR SKILLS
Motor skills involve different muscles and require the muscles, nervous system, and brain to work together.
Since the hang clean and jerk involves exercising different muscles simultaneously, it will require your motor skills to make the movements. As a result, you can improve muscle coordination and help your body move a unit.
ALTERNATIVES TO HANG CLEAN AND JERK
It’s a compound movement, meaning it works several muscles simultaneously. The dumbbell snatch helps increase explosiveness and power in weightlifting or any other sport requiring quick, powerful success movements.
It also trains coordination of the body’s core, lower back, and shoulders to work together with one another when achieving maximum strength from this exercise. It targets your core, hamstrings, back, glutes, quadriceps, shoulders, and triceps.
This is one of the best alternatives to the hang clean and jerk exercise. It’s an excellent exercise for developing power, balance, explosiveness, and core strength.
It also aids in building athleticism and mobility. It targets the abs, shoulders, hamstrings, pecs, glutes, quads, hips, and lats.
This is a great strength exercise for overall body development as it helps develop muscles like the back, arms, legs, hips, and abs. Deadlifts are also known to increase testosterone levels, which help with muscle growth.
There are many other exercises to choose from that offer the same benefits as a hang clean and jerk workout, but they all depend on what you want to achieve.
For example, if you wish to do more legwork, try split squats or a lunge matrix. Or, if you want more arm work, try bent-over rows or push press.
HANG CLEAN AND JERK MISTAKES TO AVOID
A small mistake when doing your hang clean and jerk workout can lead to an injury or pain to your muscles. Here are some errors to avoid:
DO NOT LOSE THE TENSION IN THE BAR DURING THE CATCH
If there happens to be a change of direction during the hang, your back will lose tension. This is because you have to be faster during the catch movement to maintain the tension efficiently.
ENSURE THAT THE BAR DOES NOT GO AWAY FROM THE BODY
When pulling, put the bar straight to ensure that it travels straight upwards. The far the bar is away from your body, the more energy you will use. Keep the bar close to your body for an effective workout.
SHOULDERS NOT STAYING OVER THE BAR
If you pull your shoulders back, your arms will bend, and you cannot get a nice pull at this position. Ensure your shoulders are slightly over the bar line in order for you to achieve an excellent and complete pull.
Weightlifters use the hang clean and jerk workout to build power and strength in their lower body, increase explosion and coordination, and develop an efficient technique.
When first learning to perform this movement, you may feel awkward or strange. This is because a lot of movement is involved in this exercise. But it’s important to note that despite the awkwardness of it at first, with time, you will become a pro and reap all its benefits.
Those who have mastered this exercise will tell you there is nothing more empowering than being able to do the hang clean and jerk workout.