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Jerk (Split Jerk)

AKA Split jerk
 
The jerk is the second part of the second of the two lifts (the snatch and the clean & jerk) contested in the sport of weightlifting (AKA Olympic weightlifting). The athlete lifts the barbell from the shoulders to overhead after having cleaned it from the floor to the shoulders.
 
 
Execution
 
Secure the bar in the jerk rack position with the feet at approximately hip-width and the toes turned out slightly. Keep the weight balanced on the heels while maintaining full foot contact with the floor. Bend slightly at the knees only, keeping the trunk vertical and the weight on the heels. Transition immediately at the bottom of this dip and drive aggressively with the legs against the floor to accelerate the barbell upward. As you finish the extension of the legs, begin pushing against the bar with the arms, quickly lifting the feet and transitioning them into the split position, punching the arms into a locked-out overhead position. Secure and stabilize the bar overhead before recovering from the split into a standing position with the bar still overhead.
 
 
 
Notes
 
Because the split jerk is the overwhelmingly dominant competitive jerk style, the term jerk implies split jerk except for athletes who use a different style as their primary jerk.
 
 
Purpose
 
The primary purpose of the jerk is as part of one of the two competitive lifts in the sport of weightlifting. As a training exercise, it serves weightlifters as a way to train for the lift in competition by training technique, strength, speed and all of the other qualities needed for the lift. For other athletes, it can be used to develop power, speed, precision, mobility and overhead strength.  
 
 
Programming
 
Sets of 1-3 reps are suggested with weights anywhere from 70% to the lifter’s maximum jerk. Generally this exercise should be performed following any snatch variants and possibly before clean variants depending on what the intended emphasis of the workout is.    
 
 
 
Variations
 
There are numerous variations of the jerk, primarily the other styles of receiving: power jerk, push jerk and squat jerk, but also pauses in the dip, from behind the neck, and more.
 
 
See Also
 

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Olympic Weightlifting: A DVD Guide to Learning & Teaching the Snatch and Clean & Jerk by Greg Everett
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