T Nation

Jerk Technique


Two questions:
1. Can anyone recommend some solid articles/videos discussing split jerk technique?
2. Will lots of overhead pressing / push pressing help my overhead stability? If not, what do you recommend that will?

I wish I could just post a video so you guys could tear me apart and help me build myself back up as a better jerker (haha), but alas, I do not know a single soul with a video camera.



Push press/presses are just good for overhead strength, but it won't help you with that overhead stability like a real heavy jerk will. So moral of the story, do heavy jerks... rack jerks, behind neck jerks should be your staples. Try to get your technique in order, and do heavy clean and jerks. Also, get a handheld camera or digital camera, I'm sure you can get a cheap one easily these days.

There is one exercise you can do to help with overhead stability, but I don't recommend you do them unless you are positive that you can't handle heavy jerks, which I don't buy (you just got to get used to the heavy weight!). Basically you set a heavy barbell on high racks, get under it in a split jerk position, hold it for a second, then recover with your feet (front foot first, then back foot). Then drop it back down on the rack.

Just found video, Jerk recovery: http://cathletics.com/exercises/exercise.php?exerciseID=197


Thanks for the advice. I'll start incorporating more jerk variations into my training to get used to holding heavy weight overhead. Those jerk recoveries look interesting as well.

The video camera is on my list of things to purchase, but being only an intern at my company right now I don't have much in the way of disposable income. Still trying to save up to get a proper pair of lifting shoes.


Oh yes, shoes before camera!


This might also be a useful video (on split jerk technique by Dan John):


Thanks for the link! Very helpful.



Try jerks from behind the head. These should help you get a better idea of where the bar should end up and where your balance should be for driving it there.

Also, without seeing your form it's tough to know but here's a couple of things:

  1. Hold the bar in the palms or your hands and on the clavicle. If this means readjusting your elbows lower after the clean, do so. Don't grip the bar hard.
  2. Stand straight at the start of the jerk and dip down by letting your knees go forward and descending through your heels and start the drive up through your heels also.
  3. Increase your speed in the movement as it goes. Don't start the dip too fast.
  4. Use your arms to punch to full length AFTER your hip and knee extension has driven it off your shoulders and don't try to lift your shoulders to move the bar off them.
  5. Don't overthink the split but keep your mind on the dip and drive.



Thank you for the advice.


Couple of things that I have found myself to help. The first one is something you definitely should do, the second is more of a.. whatever works for you

1) Keep your back as tight as possible during the whole thing. I find weights feel much lighter both during the dip and drive and during the catch and recovery.
2) Instead of thinking of pushing back up after the dip(so during the drive), I think about the split. The bigger the split I think, my mind "translates" it into the fact that I'll have to drive the weight more in order to then get into that position fast. I did read once somewhere that it says in olympic weightlifting you should generally think one step ahead, literally. But, like I said, whatever works for you, though I think its worth a try to see how it feels for you



If your trunk is SOFT you will be losing A LOT OF POWER in your dip and drive phase.

Think of pushing a brick with
an iron rod
a spring

The spring has to compress a lot before it gets to a point where it can push the brick. The iron road willm ove the brick straight away.

Drive on to your toes