Teaching the Jerk: Part 2

By Mike Burgener with Tony Budding

In Olympic Lifts

June 01, 2007

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In part 2 of a 4-part series on the jerk, Coach Mike Burgener of Mike’s Gym takes athletes through a progression for developing an effective split landing position for receiving the barbell overhead. Photos and videos illustrate the progression and show how to correct faults.

The overwhelming majority of all competitive Olympic-style weightlifters use the split foot position when receiving the bar in the jerk, primarily because the split jerk has a larger margin of error than the push jerk or squat jerk in terms of exact placement of the bar in the frontal plane overhead.

It takes a lot of practice to hit this landing position consistently. It is essential in these early stages to correct the landing position every time before standing. This is especially true when working with PVC. There are a few common mistakes that people make.

Common mistakes include landing too narrow, landing too far forward, and landing with the back heel in the wrong position. The back heel should be up off the ground and very slightly turned out, with the weight on the ball of the foot, as in a lunge. In the incorrect position, the hip opens on one side, the torso twists a little, and the back heel comes slamming down. The athlete should be able to perform ten repetitions at speed perfectly before adding weight. It takes much longer to undo bad habits than to learn them correctly from the start.

Other articles in this series:

Teaching The Jerk introduces the series and discusses the push jerk

Teaching The Jerk, Part 3: Split Jerk Drills

Teaching The Jerk, Part 4: Skill Transfer Exercises

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