T Nation

Clean And Jerk


How many people train both legs forward when practicing their split for the C&J? I always use my left forward, but recently I've been practicing both.


I found that my left always goes forward too. I never really thought about switching it up. Give it a shot.


If you compete, practice competition form and use other exercises to keep muscle balance.

If not, though, switch it up.

I push-jerk.



I would advise to take it slow with the progress of your weaker leg. I didn't and that's how I brought about my hernia


I switch up to try an keep my legs even, but like Galvatron said, take it easy on your weaker leg. I'll start my C&J sets with my weak side, then go to the strong side as I get fatigued. When I am going for a heavy lift, I don't try to switch I just go with my dominate side.


I don't think it is important to split both ways. The most important part of the jerk is the powerful leg drive. The split is only to help get under the bar.

If you are really concerned about splitting both ways, consider power jerking, where your feet stay in pretty much the same position as the start of the jerk. You still dip under the bar to catch it with straight arms.


I don't give out much technique advice here because its almost always an individual thing that needs to be seen to be helped, but if you're going to power jerk, it helps to hop forward a little bit when getting under the bar and locking the weight out overhead.


If I'm going for a max I'll use left leg all the time. If not I switch it up, I feel it helps coordination more than anything and it's interesting so check if you could be stronger with the other leg forward.



When i jerk i switch up my feet on each rep. Its just how we were taught.


I'm no expert (no shit!),

but I don't worry about switching legs. I've always just presumed the pulls and squats will keep things balanced enough.

I might change my mind if I was doing a large volume of split jerks.

My tu'penny worth!


I heard that a good way to see what a person's natural forward foot for a jerk is to sneak up from behind them, and while they are standing straight up with there feet planted, push them forward. The foot that they use to step forward with be the forward foot during the jerk.

Just don't do it after they racked a clean! ahhahaa


why split jerk? can you get deeper? is it more stable? why not push jerk?


In a split jerk you have more leeway when it comes to recovering your position. In a power jerk, there is a smaller margin of error. It is very difficult to ride down a power jerk unless you have exceptional shoulder flexibility.


but if you got the flexibility then a power jerk is better?


I don't know if you can say either way is better. In the past I would have said the split jerk is better, but recent olympic champions (Dimas for one and then the 69kilo guy from China) seem to discount that theory.

The best way I can explain it is next time you're in the gym try and do an overhead squat ass to the grass with the your hands not much farther than shoulder width. Then do an overhead lunge. It's much easier to control the weight. You don't feel like you're going to lose it behind or in front as fuck because your weight is spread out over a much greater distance. I also feel that with a leg to each side you have more side to side balance.

Sorry I realize that doesn't really give you any hard reasons for why its better but hopefully it helps. Maybe Krollmonster or Galvatron can explain it better.



Also, with a squat jerk, unless you have the shoulder flexibility to actually do the full squat , you're actually doing a power jerk (jerk with maybe a quarter squat), meaning you aren't dropping as low beneath the bar so you have to drive it up with more force to make the lift. With a split jerk, you are getting significantly lower and so don't have to drive the bar as high.


The full squat jerk takes serious shoulder flexibility. Because it has to go around your head in a close grip, it seems to take much more flexibility even than a jerk-grip overhead squat. I have overhead squatted a light weight (60 kilos) ass to grass with a jerk grip just fine (and this in flat-soled shoes), but on the two occasions when I've tried a 60 kilo squat jerk, I've just lost the bar way out front.

I wasn't trying too hard, though, just screwing around. Still, the SHOULDER flexibility it must take to press your head around and under the bar that fast! Like the top of a clean-grip snatch, only with heavier weight!