Exercise Library
Power Jerk Behind The Neck

AKA Behind the neck power jerk
The power jerk behind the neck is a simple variation of the power jerk that can serve a few purposes in training.
Secure the bar behind the neck as you would for a back squat with your hands in your jerk-width grip, 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 your squat stance, punching the arms into a locked-out overhead position as you sit into a partial squat. Secure and stabilize the bar overhead before recovering into a standing position with the bar still overhead. The thighs must remain above horizontal in the squat for the lift to qualify as a power jerk; if the squat is below this depth, it is a squat jerk.
Because the bar and the trunk begin in the same place and orientation respectively that they should be in when the bar is overhead, the bar path should be perfectly vertical and the trunk should remain in the same orientation (inclined forward very slightly). Be cautious not to hinge at the hips when dipping.
The power jerk behind the neck can be used for the same basic reasons as the power jerk in training, but with the added element of reinforcing the proper position of the bar overhead and strengthening the upper back to support the overhead position.
Sets of 1-3 reps are suggested with weights anywhere from 70% to the lifter’s maximum power 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. With light weights, it can be used as a technique primer before split jerks or power jerks to train a more vertical drive or higher drive and reinforce the proper overhead position.
The power jerk behind the neck can be performed without the feet leaving the floor, in which case it becomes a push jerk behind the neck. It can also be performed with a snatch grip as a common way to secure the bar overhead for heavy overhead squats.

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