After the introduction to jerks in last weeks blog, this week I will cover a step by step guide of the most commonly used jerk motion, the split jerk.
There are other forms of the jerk motion that can be used to develop power in a person, variations such as the squat and power jerk both provide diversity in the training stimulus and also for some the movement allows progressions/regressions in the movement. The squat jerk requires the person to catch the bar in an overhead squat position, but doesn’t require the bar to be driven as high. This results in less explosive force being generated and mobility being more emphasised, where as the power jerk forces the lifter to exert more power and less mobility due to the position the bar is received.
Below is a step by step guide of the split jerk, a lift that focuses on the development of speed, power, strength, co-ordination, precision and explosive strength.
1.) The start position will be similar to a front squat or the final position of the clean (detailed in previous blog)
2.) Ensure your hips are under the bar with a neutral spine and elbows are kept high. You need to be in a position that generates sufficient force, a jumping position similar to one adapted in a squat should suffice (detailed in previous blog).
Bracing For The Movement:
3.) The motion is initiated by the knees only, ensure your torso remains completely vertical. The triple extension should occur as part of a countermovement after the knees have been bent slightly (similar to when you would jump).
The Drive Up:
4.) Drive hard into the ground as fast as possible, extending the knees and subsequently triple extending at the hips, knees and ankle joints (triple extension). This should send the bar upwards.
5.) As the bar ascends, you should already be elevated from the floor due to the ankles being extended. As you reach the peak of the extension, drop your hips under the bar.
6.) After you have explosively extended upwards, you should aim to place your feet in a position, like if you had an imaginary cross painted underneath you. Similar to a lunge position, your left foot would be placed flat in the top left box and the right foot on the ball of the foot, in the bottom right box or vice versa if using the right leg to lead the movement.
7.) Whilst placing your feet in the optimal positions, you must simultaneously drive your arms to a locked position under the bar before it descends to low. Make sure all your joints are in alignment in the arms to allow for maximal support and minimum injury risk.
8.) The final position should have the front foot and back foot parallel, with the weight in the front foot being distributed throughout the heel and the back leg having a slight bend to accommodate the impact upon catching. The arms should be locked out at the joint with your torso directly under the bar.
9.) After the bar has been caught, you must complete the lift by bringing the legs horizontally together in a standing position, locking and holding he bar above the head for a second.
Drop the bar to the floor from this height, or bend the elbows to drop the bar back into the start position on your shoulders, ensure you keep the torso vertical and the knees bent on impact to reduce joint trauma through impact throughout the body.