Breaking Muscle Video: Bob Takano – The Jerk Drive Comes From the Legs

Bob Takano explains why you don’t necessarily have to be able to get your whole hand around the bar when you clean and jerk, using the example of Olympic weightlifter Dan Cantore.

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"I can't get my fingers around the bar to jerk!" I frequently hear this statement at seminars, clinics, and certifications. When I do, I frequently bring up the example of an old training partner, Dan Cantore. Dan was a member of the 1972 and 1976 Olympic teams in the 67.5kg class. He was definitely no slouch. His best clean and jerk in that weight class was an American record of 162.5kg.

Well, Danny was one of those lifters who could never get very much of his hand around the bar when he racked it in the clean. In fact, it always ended up resting only on his index and middle fingers. Consequently all the drive for the jerk came from the extension of legs and hips, his arms not coming into play until the bar reached a height above the top of his head. I think it’s obvious from this clip that a jerk drive has to come from leg and hip extension.