Adjust for the Jerk or Go Home.
Steve Pan

What really grinds my gears in weightlifting is seeing people jerk with their arms in the front squat position. I cringe when I imagine them jerking with the elbows so far forward they will have to perform a skull crusher to get the bar up there, fingers barely on the bar that if they don’t sneak them around they will get twisted underneath.

There is no reason you should not re-adjust your hands and arms into a more favorable position to push up on the bar and support it.

Coming out of a clean and preparing for the jerk there are no time limits in competition. There is a point of diminishing returns as there is a barbell sitting on you trying to push you into the ground, but you should have enough time to at least get yourself into position to jerk.

As you stand from the clean you can carry that leg drive up and pop the bar off your shoulders to adjust your hands into the jerk position. The goal is to get the palms deeper, adjust the elbows down and out, and have a vertical forearm position. This enables you to push yourself straight under after you drive that bar upwards.

Here is a video of some examples of adjustments for the jerk.

So adjust your damn jerk position!


Greg Everett
June 21 2012
Shut up Steve, your ass is going to be running next.
Geoff Hegedus
June 21 2012
Good to be reminded that the legs are doing the grunt work! Thanks Steve.
David Griffin
June 22 2012
I totally needed to read this article a long time ago. I'm sure you wrote this in your book somewhere and I skimmed over it but I had been deliberately trying to keep my front squat rack position for the jerk. Now I know better.
August 6 2014
I got to the jerk chapter in your book recently, where you also explain where your elbows need to go in the jerk.
A few days ago I saw the article Fixing Droopy Elbows in the Jerk by Matt Foreman.

seems to contradict what you're saying here and in the book. Am I just misunderstand what Matt is talking about?