Teaching the Jerk Part 3: Split Jerk Drills

By Mike Burgener and Tony Budding

In Olympic Lifts

July 01, 2007

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In part 3 of a 4-part series on the jerk, Coach Mike Burgener of Mike’s Gym uses text, photos and videos to show a progression that develops into a full clean and jerk.

With decent instruction, most people can, without too much difficulty, learn the proper landing position for the split jerk and learn to jump the dowel, PVC pipe, or light bar through a range of motion, receiving the bar overhead with the legs in a partial lunge.

Most of these same people will find their mechanics deteriorating as they approach maximal loads (and many long before maximal). For this reason, we have developed a series of drills that can be used with increasing loads while reinforcing or even improving the mechanics of the movement.

In competition, the jerk always follows a successful clean. In order to prepare the athlete for this sequence, you can add a squat to each of the exercises described.

These six exercises can be performed in sequence with PVC as a warm-up. Once there is proficiency in the movements, the sequence can be performed with the squats and cleans with gradually increasing loads as a workout, as follows: Back squat and behind-the-neck push press Back squat and behind-the-neck push jerk Back squat and behind-the-neck split jerk Front squat and push press Front squat and push jerk Front squat and split jerk Clean and split jerk

Other articles in this series:

Teaching The Jerk introduces the series and discusses the push jerk

Teaching The Jerk, Part 2

Teaching The Jerk, Part 4: Skill Transfer Exercises

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