T Nation

Push/Split Jerks


Anyone know of any techniques that utilizes push/slit jerks without locking out on top? Would be healthier for the shoulders if you just threw the weight up then controlled the decent back to the chest. Also would you still get the benefit of the OLY movement?


I'm not sure why it would be unhealthy to lock out at the top.
If you wanna get the benefits of the explosive action without having to catch the weight, you could do some medicine balls up and behind you starting from in between your legs.


Bradford press, is a good shoulder exercise without the lockout. Not an explosive movement though.


Reason being, I don't want to chance straining anything. I max'd out in Jan with 225 for 1 and strained my neck while holding at the top. But it was at the end of the CT OLY block so I could have been close to being drained (CNS wise). My thing is I know I can handle that + some as far as exploding up but like I said I don't want to injure anything if I'm not strong enough to hold the lockout. But I love the explosive movement.


It makes no sense not to lock out a push jerk. If you are strong enough to jerk up 225+ but you aren't strong enough to lock it out, then you can't push jerk that much. If you aren't strong enough, lower the weight.


I also have tweaked my neck, but doing military press. How is your neck doing these days? Maybe you just need a better or longer warmup. Consider starting light and working up again.

If you really don't want to... if you have a completely vertical smith machine, you can set it up for jerk starts. Just do the drive same as a jerk, but since you will be using more weight than regular jerks, the weight won't go as high. You don't have to lock it out or do the split. Just drive it and as it falls down, let your knees ease it down a bit.
Some people do these in a regular power rack too.


Push Jerks in a vertical smith machine? Wow, all i got to say.


CT posted before that if your sport is baseball/golf/tennis or some other sport that utilizes a lot of shoulder movement then don't over due the jerks. That could be too much on the shoulders.


not jerks, jerk starts.
Definitely out of the ordinary hahahaa.
But use a lot more weight than regular jerks, the weight won't go much higher than your nose.


Kroll you should still just do those off a rack. I think the smith machine is a waste of metal.



push jerks in the smith machine, my joints collectively said "OOOOUUUCH!!!" just reading that.

if you are not locking out the jerk, you are excluding an important part of the exercise, robbing you of some of its benefits.


hahaha don't sweat it guys. I did those about twice over a year ago! I was just throwing ideas out since the other guy didn't want to have to support the weight overhead.


If he doesn't want to support the weight overhead he shouldn't be doing the exercise at all.


well, though the way you said it sounds a little mean, i tend to agree...


Jerk drives (what I call the exercises KRoll described, done with a bar) are good to maintain some jerk strength when you can't jerk.

But whether you do jerk drives or jerks, don't lower the weight back to your chest with control; that would take a lot more out of your shoulders than locking it out. Let it fall, and dip your knees to absorb the impact with your legs.


AAhhh, so there is a technique. Don't get me wrong, I love jerks and will continue to do them properly. But I'm sure the other ones can come in handy also.


I'm closing in on fifty years in Olympic lifting. One thing that's seldom mentioned in discussions of it on this Website is just how flexible you have to be in the shoulders and hips, unlike powerlifting, in which, as Professor Squat Freddy Hatfield pointed out years ago, a certain amount of tightness in the hips and shoulders is actually an asset. If anyone's having trouble locking out the jerk, it's likely from either or both of two causes: either the split or squat is not low enough, and/or the lifter can't roll his shoulders back enough so as to catch the weight a little behind, and not directly over, his head (Girls, I'm not ignoring you when I use the pronoun "his," referring to the lifter. If you do jerks as part of your workout routine, the above applies to you, too).
Finally I'd say, learn both styles. There'll come a time when your heart and mind, as a friend of mine recently put it, say "Split!" but your joints say "Squat!"
To determine whether you're flexible enough in the shoulders, here's a suggestion:

 Get inside a squat cage. Set up the safety bars so that they're at a level just over your head.  Put an Olympic bar atop the safety bars, and put just enough plates on either end (think safety! WITH some kind of locking or spring collars) to give you a little resistance.  Grasp the bar with the grip width you normally use in pressing, squat down just low enough so that your arms are locked out and you're facing forward as you would when you're about two thirds  or even three quaters of the way up from your split or squat.  Make sure your feet are evenly  planted, with the bar in that position slightly behind your head, as I described above.
 Stand up, with the bar locked out.

 If the bar feels like it wants to fall forward, there's a good likelyhood that you have shoulder flexibility issues.

 If the bar feels like it's falling into a "groove" (that "groove," BTW, shoud "feel" VERY stable), then your shoulders are likely OK, and your lockout problems may be caused by fatigue.  It can happen.

 If you practice any kind of Olympic lifting with good form, you'll get to the point where both the snatch and the clean & jerk will feel like they're almost pulling you up out of the low positions.  If you have to fight your way up, you may have flixibility problems, or you may have caught the weight at the very edge of that "groove,"  or you're setting a PR.

  Good luck.


In his Black Book of Training, CT recommends overhead shrugs as one of his Oly lift exercises (worth buying the book for this chapter alone). That exercise works the traps "like nothing else" and thus may help you with a stronger lockout?