Exercise Library
Drop To Split

AKA Split drop
The drop to split is an exercise to train the movement into the split position and strengthen the position for receiving jerks.  
Place the barbell behind the neck as you would for a back squat, being sure to use a fairly narrow grip. Actively pull the bar tightly against your body to ensure it doesn’t shift during the exercise. Jump your feet out quickly into your jerk split position and absorb the weight tightly, making sure to land in the proper position with your weight balanced approximately evenly between your front and back foot, and keeping your trunk tight and upright. Recover by stepping back about a third of the way back with the front foot, then stepping the back foot up to meet it.  
This exercise can be very intimidating and may need to be introduced to a lifter with very light weights, although eventually heavy weights will be possible. If heavier weights are desired, the jump to split is more appropriate.
The drop split trains quick and accurate foot transition into the split position. It also strengthens the split receiving position for the jerk, which can often be a weakness that limits an athlete’s jerk.
The drop to split should be done after the classic lift and variants, but can be done before more strength-oriented work like squatting and pulling. Weights of up to 100% and more of the athlete’s best jerk may be used for 1-5 reps, although 2-3 reps will be most common. Weights will be lighter than used in the jump to split. It can also be done with light weights before a jerk workout as a technique primer to practice footwork for 3-5 reps.
The drop to split can be done with a dip and drive of the legs first to create more time and space to split the feet. This will increase the weight that can be used somewhat, and the lift can then more accurately be called a jump to split

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July 15 2015
I like to throw a few of these in on the alternate side after any jerking now. My usual split is with my left foot forward (much more stable). Due to various reasons I have an underactive left glute max and an underactive right glue medius. I've found this can be a great corrective exercise for my imbalance in addition to the unilateral stuff.
April 10 2017
I have this dilemma where if I focus too much on "jumping out" quickly to a jerk split as described on this page then I feel like I'm neglecting to use my leg drive. Is there a way to balance the two? If I focus too much on my leg drive then I usually fail to jump out as quickly and usually take a taller stance in my jerk split, causing a press out with my arms. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Jordan - you can incorporate other drills into your warm up. Such as Jerk Blances, Tall Jerks, Jerk Dip Squats, and Jerk Drives. You can also find more jerk exercises here

Alyssa Sulay