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Clean and press, same but different

I think it is good to have the ability to jerk to relieve shoulders, at the same I think it is good to work with press to use the whole body in different ways to lock out a barbell or kettlebell over head.

Per, Strength stairs

It is good to be able to handle a barbell, focus in this article, or a throwing ball over the head in cases where we are to train both coordination, strength and explosiveness for, for example, weightlifting. It is then important to know the difference and similarities between jerk and press to get the most out of the exercise.

Main difference is speed and explosivity

To be able to push a barbell up from the chest or neck / upper back, speed and explosiveness are needed so that the shoulders and arms are really only used to lock out the arms when you fall in under the bar and catch it. In other words, it is the legs and hips that do the main job of speeding up the bar all the way up. A press is more of a composite movement where the arms are used to push the last little bit up to straight and locked arms with the bar.

Equal to a big part

If you want to perform a jerk or a press the can be quite equal and here is a simplified description.

With barbell on the chest (like after a clean)

  1. Bend your knees slightly

  2. Push upwards and press with the legs and the hip

  3. Jerk – fall downwards when the barbell is on its way up and lock out

  4. Press – continue to keep the barbell moving with a shoulder press to lock out

To perform a jerk you do step 1, 2 and 3. To perform a press you do step 1, 2 and 4. The most important is that you do the exercise in a controlled and secure manor.

Some why’s

Why should you jerk?

To exercise explosivity and coordination, preferably without using shoulders to much more than locking out the arms when you fall in under the bar and catch it.

Why should you press?

To exercise power and coordination, where you use shoulders and arms as drivers to lock out the barbell when legs are straightened.

What is important to keep in mind when jerking and pressing?

For both exercises the important thing is speed and control, try to find a flow.