T Nation

Unable to Jerk



So I had an injury to my shoulder a few months ago, and I cannot jerk without my scapular spasming. I can press fine though, so I am thinking of resuming training.

It isn't so simple though, as I can't just replace the jerk with a press, as that would burn out my delts like no tomorrow. How should I change my training if I am not going to be performing the Jerk?




Preston, isn't that what girlfriends are for?


If you can snatch, clean, and squat without pain then do those things. Since you say you can press without pain but cannot jerk, I'm assuming the pain in the shoulder occurs when stabilizing the heavy weight overhead, not when pressing it off the shoulders. I would probably try to see if I could push press without pain.

That will allow you to overload the overhead position moreso than a strict press, but not quite as much as a jerk, while at the same time allowing you to practice the dip and drive of the jerk. Also, because you actually lock the weight out with your triceps rather than receiving it at arms length as in a jerk, the movement occurs more slowly and gives you more of a chance to feel if say the lockout is going to hurt or not (in which case I'd simply dump the barbell). Other than, I'd say don't do jerks until you can do them without pain, and then gradually build your way back up.



how does push-pressing feel?


There is no pain, but imagine a muscle that stabilizes my scapular doesn't work properly. The posterior serratus, rhomboid and lower trap does not activate when it is meant to, and so the inferior part of my scapular rotates outward wildly. I can control my scapular if it is a slow movement overhead because I can squeeze the heck out of it, but if anything happens too quickly my scap stability weakens and my overhead lockout feels incredibly weak. If I get it right it is strong.

Anyway, I cannot push press yet, but will build up to it, and then later I will build up to a jerk. In fact at the moment I am trying to catch the clean properly, without letting my scapular protract too much.


yep, that makes sense.

i find there are a lot of movement i need to do slowly to try and get the muscles working properly. then after a while of that i can work on speeding the whole thing up.

IMHO don't be afraid of broomsticks, either. good for practicing speed and low risk of a failed / improperly activated rep.

i think the standard progression is:

then power-jerk / split-jerk

one step at a time.