December 20, 2012
Chad Vaughn breaks down the “simplest” of the three Olympic lifts.
In comparison to the snatch and clean, the jerk is theoretically the simplest of the three lifts.
For the jerk, as in the snatch and clean, certain parts of the body have to move out of the way of the bar so it can travel up straight. In other words, these parts have to move around the bar. In the jerk, of course, the head is the only obstacle. Also, the distance from the shoulders to overhead is a much shorter than that from the ground to the shoulders or the ground to overhead.
Both arguments support the theory that the jerk is simpler, but the movement gives many lifters the most trouble—myself included. In my 15-year career, it has only been over the last couple of years that I’ve finally been able to rewire my body to move optimally to perform this lift. Here’s what I’ve learned in my pursuit of the “perfect jerk.”