The clean and jerk is the second, and less difficult, of the two lifts in Olympic
. Unlike the snatch
, which consists of a single, fluid movement, the clean and jerk is a two-step process.
The lifter starts with the barbell at rest on the floor, pulls the weight to his/her shoulders in a single motion, and stands upright. This is the "clean." Next, the bar is raised to an overhead position with arms fully extended and elbows locked. This is the 'jerk," and is accomplished by scissoring the feet (one forward, one back) to maintain balance and reduce the amount of effort needed to push the weight. The final position must still be with the feet together, though.
In addition to the obvious strength, the clean and jerk requires great speed and entire-body coordination to complete with heavy weights. Even if not performed competitively, it is an excellent exercise to improve all-around physical strength and conditioning.