Olympic Lifting: Clean from Thigh to Split Jerk

Olympic Lifting is a great tool for developing power (or more specifically strength-speed & speed-strength) this complex using 3 x clean from thigh and 2 x split jerk is something I use frequently.

Getting an athletes technically proficient in Olympic Lifting does require a significant amount of time, so depending on your athlete and how quickly they can pick it up you might decide to use alternative exercises completely or these derivatives of the full lifts.

A lift like the Clean from Thigh takes out the more technically demanding 1st pull and transition phases but allow the athlete to benefit from significantly loading the athlete through triple extension.

Clean from Thigh

1) Start position

  • Hook grip, thumbs distance from the edge of the rough part of the bar
  • Bar rests on the mid thigh
  • Weight through the mid foot
  • Shoulders over bar, elbows pointing along the bar
  • Feet hip width apart

2) Second Pull

  • Jump – powerful triple extension of the ankle, knee and hip
  • Weight up on to the toes
  • Shrug – violent shrug slightly after the triple extension
  • Keep the elbows relaxed to allow the bar to come up close to the body

3) Catch

  • Drop under the bar
  • Feet split from hip width out to a front squat position
  • Elbows rotate under the bar catching on the shoulders at the same time as the feet contact the ground
  • Weight through the heels.
  • Front Squat the bar back up to standing

Split Jerk

Bar rests on the shoulders, keep the elbows high through the drive phase
Feet hip width
Dip & drive from the legs, dropping under the bar splitting the feet into the lunge position
Feet should remain hip width throughout for stability – front foot flat, back foot on the toes.
Bar should finish above the line of the head
To finish, bring the front foot backward then the back foot forwards.

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