Exercise Library
Power Jerk

AKA Push jerk
The power jerk is a style of jerk infrequently used in competition, and a variation of the jerk commonly used in training by athletes who split jerk primarily.
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 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.
Often the terms power jerk and push jerk are used synonymously, but we consider them two distinct exercises—the feet lift and move in the power jerk, and stay connected to the floor in the push jerk.
The power jerk can be a lifter’s chosen style of jerk in competition. As a training exercise, it serves weightlifters as a way to train better and higher drive on the bar, balance in the dip and drive, a more precise vertical drive, a quicker transition between the drive and the movement down under the bar, and proper movement of the bar into position overhead, all of which will improve the split jerk.
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 to train a more vertical drive or higher drive.
The power jerk can be performed without the feet leaving the floor, in which case it becomes a push jerk. It can also be performed from behind the neck.


May 20 2019
Could I substitute the power jerk for the split jerk in a program if that is my preferred competition jerk style?
Yes, if power is your chosen jerk style, you'll do that any time a split-jerker would split jerk in training.

Greg Everett
Tim Pashe
January 8 2020
I've been considering switching to power jerk since I have a very hard time getting my feet into the proper positions in the split, due to my feet being rotated outwards from external tibial torsion. How should I approach accessory movements? Could I use push jerks where one would typically use power jerks?
You can just do all powers. You can use push if you want to work specifically on something like foot position or finishing the drive better.

Greg Everett