for some reason i can not get my clean and jerk to go up no matter what i do. i have done many front and back squats lately and my legs have gotten much stronger. i can now do jerks with 225 pounds fairly easy, but the only problem is that my clean sucks. i can not even clean 205 pounds. this means that my improvements are pretty much useless, because in order to be able to even attempt the jerk of the lift you must be able to clean the weight first. so what can i do to help my clean get a lot stronger. i know that it is mostly hamstrings, but the only exercises i know to isolate hamstrings are deadlifts and hamstring curls. everytime i try deadlifts though i can never really feel it in my hamstrings and i am not sure i am even doing them correct. should i do stiff legged deadlifts, regular deadlifts, wide grip, narrow grip, or what. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Please get strong through a full range of motion at a slow tempo through exercices that address your paticular weakness. That generally is the problem with people as begineer to intermediate with the Oly lifts. Your problem could be technical,weakness of a paticular muscle or a paticular movement pattern or lack of a certain trait such as explosive strength . You must test to see where your weakness is at. Try t-mag archives.
Almost certainly, you are making technical errors in your clean. Unless you’ve had hands-on, qualified coaching, your clean will be 50 pounds under where it should be due to technical errors. Just to give you a single thing to work on, almost all uncoached lifters will prematurely bend the elbows. Watch yourself for this…the entire body must be fully extended (i.e., up on toes, full shrug, etc) BEFORE the elbows bend. Bottom line though, if you want your clean to improve, you’ll need to find a qualified coach in your area. Best of luck & success!
Nic, if you really can jerk 225lbs, there is NO way in the world you can only clean 205 if you have any reasonable leg strength whatsoever. I’m very inclined to suggest that the problem is not your leg strength but rather your form… I’m curious, do you ever do snatches? Usually people that are this off-balanced in Olympic lifts have a lot of difficulty with the idea of getting the bar moving with their posterior chain and traps, then simply catching the weight by dropping their body into a semi squat position. My suggestion is to find a strength coach and get hands on instruction on how to perform the clean and jerk and also the snatch, as you should be incorporating that movement in your routine also.
I honestly have NEVER seen anyone whose limiting factor in this lift was the clean who had proper form. The jerk portion should be much harder for you than the clean. If you want to self-correct yourself, grab a broomstick or similar and practice dropping under the weight and “catching” it on your shoulders, rather than upright rowing the bar with your arms.
Here is tip. Try to do more explosive moves w/ lighter weights. Read some of Louie Simmons articles or books. Speed strength is important on the clean and jerk not necesarily power or maximal strength. Try rack Pulls and Good mornings. Most importantly practice your speed work. 50-60% of your max for 3 reps 10 sets. It will kick your ass. Next week max on an exercise other than the clean. Then back to speed work on the clean. And so on. Find your weak spot and evaluate your technique. This kind of program works great for powerlifting. I have 800 squat, 500 bench, 650 dead. Good luck, Olympic lifting is hard work.
If you think about it the clean and actually all the olympic lifts are already speed lifts. Although I agree with your recommendations of rack pulls and good mornings theres no need to do Louie Simmons speed training unless you’re a powerlifter