Kurt Salquist

Why Should I clean, snatch or jerk? – my short answer

Shortest answer: Have you ever lifted a heavy bag of groceries from the floor to the counter, a bag of dog food off the shelf to your cart, a bag or dirt or concrete to the back of a pickup, a piece of lumber up over your head, (keeping this short, I’ll stop there), if yes, or you needed someone’s help to do so, that’s why!

Slightly longer answer but still short: These weightlifting movements go way beyond any single strength exercise like a bicep curl or ab crunch that isolate just one muscle group and require less than a foot of movement for each lift. Instead we and pulling weight from the ground to the shoulders and even overhead, moving said weight over 7 feet per rep!  The amount of muscles and energy required to do so topple any isolation exercise like the Empire State Building stands over a parking meter on the street. Your core is firing all cylinders while it focuses on stabilizing your trunk, you back is engaged pulling your shoulders back and maintaining your neutral spine, meanwhile your legs are vigorously pushing through the ground helping you build the bar speed to propel the weight off your hips (now it’s the glutes turn to shine) up to your shoulders, where again everything comes into play to stabilize and balance as you enter the “catch” phase. Once you stand up its time to heave the weight overhead, where once more, you must dynamically recruit all the muscle fibers as fast as possible to push the bar into a full overhead position where real balance and stabilization in your shoulders and core will meet there limits.

That’s still my short answer. Now most importantly find someone qualified to teach how to utilize these dynamic movements to help you be more athletic and even better at life.

Enjoy and Live Life,

Therese Martinez, MS, RD, CPT

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