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Jerk Werk: 11/13/19

You will see a series of Shoulder to Overhead movements for our Wednesday Strength.  It will be a good time for those of you that thought you needed Jerk Work post 20.4 to get that in. Here are some Jerk Tips provided by Box Rox.


When someone tries a split jerk for the first time, it is often more of a foot splat, but it needs to be precise. Look for a nice straight line between the bar, shoulders and hips with an even distance between the feet. This allows your legs to take the weight rather than your lower back or joints.
There are simple positioning cues such as

  • Is the shin of the front leg vertical?
  • Is the back leg bent?
  • Is the back foot on the toes and correctly aligned with the knee?

The Germans always have great jerk technique which really uses the legs rather than the lower back, check out Julia Schwarzbach with 103k


‘If you can drive the bar really high and in a straight line, then your recovery from the split will be even easier’

Push press is a fantastic exercise to work on the drive, however you must use the leg drive as much as possible by driving up onto the toes, and staying on the toes until the end of the press, this may be harder but it will be rewarding!


If you struggle to keep your chest or elbows up during the dip you may have to work on improving your thoracic mobility or loosening your lats and triceps. Alternatively it may be postural strength, for this jerk dips with heavyweight which for 3 sets of 5 will help the athlete strengthen the dip posture. In addition a common habit to watch out for is to compromise the upright position of the rack by using the arms too early, you must let the shoulders drive through the bar before your arms punch through.


Quiet or a ‘pitter-patter’ split jerk is usually an indication of the lifter being too slow or not giving the bar enough float in order to move the feet into the right position. At the top of the jerk drive the feet need to slide out as opposed to lifting up and out, many people are slow because they try to lift the legs in an arc, as opposed to a skim across the service. Perfecting this will take time.


It is common to at the start to be able to push press more than you can jerk. Split jerk refinement takes a lot of patience, but when it is perfected that jerk drive will become snappier, this will allow your well crafted split to be ready to receive the weight BEFORE the weight starts falling and you will be able to slam that bar in triumph.


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