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Old 06-20-2012, 12:28 PM   #1
Richard Bendekovic
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Default Jerk Pain

I started concentrating on Olympic lifts through Catalyst a little over two months ago. My jerk has always been a mess and during the first six weeks whenever I jerked it turned into a push press for the last three inches of extension (as it was pre-Catalyst). I learned more about jerk technique (through your site and DVD) and worked on jerk drills and then the last couple times jerks have come up in the workout I feel a pain in the front of my right shoulder joint. The weird part is I feel nothing when I press, for example on Monday I did push press 150x5x3 no problem other than that is about my max for 5. Today I tried a 135 jerk and felt the pain at extension. It actually feels more like a nerve than pain because there is no lingering pain or soreness after the lift, it just feels like the shoulder is going to give during the lift. I do the Catalyst dynamic warm up, plus shoulder distractions with bar and band, plus a bunch of warm-up sets and movements, and have experienced this only once about six months ago while doing power jerks but it was before my olympic concentration and heavy jerks did not come up again for some time. I have 46 year old joints and know this just may be the breaks but I am hoping this is something someone has experience with and can advise. If not I am screwed because I am not going to a Dr. for this, I will just go real light on jerks until this works out. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
Matt Morris
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Madison, Wi
Posts: 78

Hi Richard,

First off, I'm not a doctor, nor did I stay at a holiday in recently. However, my gut instinct is that you might be shrugging your shoulders up in your jerk and pushing them down during your press. That shrugged position (where you're neck disappears) might give you issues if you've got tight scalenes or other stuff going on. Beyond that, I'd go see a real doctor.

Can you post a video of your jerk, push press, and press?

Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:52 AM   #3
Richard Bendekovic
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46

Thanks Matt, and the last thing I want to hear is from a Dr. on this, JK all you doctors, but it is not serious enough for a Dr. visit yet and since I can do almost everything else I will find a work-around. Also, I was hoping someone in the forum would say, "the dynamic nature of the jerk, vice the press, is what is causing the pain and that it is an indication that you are finally performing the lift correctly and you shoulders are not yet conditioned to the unique nature of the jerk, keep at it and it will pass."(HAH!!! keep dreaming) Anyway, I am going to look for the shrugging you describe and see if that is the trouble causer. I posted a couple C&J on or about 6-16-2012 on a thread titled, "C&J Help Please." Appreciate you looking at those disasters but as you will see in both jerks my extension stops about three inches short and I press it out, I actually performed a third C&J that day at 175 but since it was more of the same I did not post it. In none of those lifts did I experience the pain, but the next two times out I did. But only with jerks and not during warm-up sets. Thanks again.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
Greg Everett
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,745

Richard -

Consider what Matt said. Also, this issue seems to appear for people who are tight in the lats, triceps and the other stuff that attaches to the upper arm from underneath. During a press, those muscles can relax appropriately to allow you to move properly; during a jerk, they tighten up and prevent the shoulder from moving properly.

Work on stretching the pecs, lats, tris, etc. and do plenty of light pressing and pressing behind the neck as warm-up for your jerks.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:30 AM   #5
Richard Bendekovic
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46

Thanks, tightness in those areas is a problem for me for sure, and I believe contributes to my poor front rack. I have started working on better flexibility for front rack position so hopefully it working on that will help improve this shoulder issue. Will give pecs, lats, tris, shoulders extra attention during flexibility work and warm-up. Thanks again.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
Matt Morris
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Madison, Wi
Posts: 78

I just looked at the first C/J video you posted. The first thing I notice is the bar path looks like its pretty far in front of you. Per Greg, "aim for the back of your neck when Jerking." As you start to drive, you should move your head back so the bar can go straight up, and should never be in front of your base of support. Fix that and see if you have any more pain.

Also, it does look like you are shrugging. You sort of do the turtle shell thing when you jerk. Retract your shoulder blades into the girdle and keep them there throughout the movement. You can practice this during the press and spend a bit of time at the top with your shoulders down to ingrain this position.

Third, do all the mobility stuff that Greg said. You'll be better off in more ways than you can imagine by loosening that stuff up.

Best of luck!

PS. where are you lifting at?
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