I have had a problem since I was a young weightlifter. It’s a regular jerk mystery. I stand up with the clean and making the jerk is a serious question mark. Since I was 15 years old, I have always needed to fix my jerk.
I have done plenty of jerks from the rack, and from the blocks. I have pressed until I am red in the face (literally and figuratively), but until recently the question of whether I would make the jerk or not was like a Scooby Doo mystery.
The 2 movements in this post are different, maybe even odd, but they have each helped me bring my jerk up to the levels of my clean. No more mystery of whether I will nail the jerk or not.
That is not a typo, I did not ‘forget’ the “&”. The clean jerk is a compound movement that eliminates the pause between the clean and the jerk. Rather than standing up and re-setting before the jerk, you will make one continuous movement from the front squat into the jerk.
Sounds funny, so why the heck do I even mess with this movement?
Well, why do I like rainbows and Camaros? Cause they’re cool and that’s why I like the clean jerk. They’re also all very useful, one for smiles, one for going fast, and one for fixing your jerk (you figure out which one is which).
The clean jerk can definitely fix your jerk but is also something that can be just pulled out as a challenge. It’s a fun change of pace when we try to see who can do the greatest percentage of their 1RM C&J, winner takes $5.
Technically speaking, this movement has more carryover to the jerk than the entire clean and jerk. It forces you to have a vertical torso coming out of the front squat, and the legs don’t have time to recover going into the jerk. In the simplest terms you will be overloading the jerk by eliminating the stretch portion of the dip.
Try it and love it (I know you will).
The success of the jerk comes down to the dip and the drive. Mistakenly, though, we often assume that if someone is having trouble with their jerk they just “need to press more.” Don’t try to press more, learn to dip and make the bar fly off your chest.
I think its great to press. It’s one of my favorite movements to test my strength. I don’t think the press gets much credit as one of the foundation strength movements that people should be doing, but it isn’t the end all be all in terms of jerk success.
The success of the jerk comes down to dipping in an efficient plane, and explosively driving up with the legs. If the bar passes your eyebrows from this motion alone you have a good chance for a successful lift.
In this movement dip to flat feet with the knees out, drive up like you are going into a jerk and then….don’t do anything. Just let the bar float up and then come back to your shoulders (in the groove) or fall to the blocks.
Let me finish this by saying, if you do these without jerk blocks you can run the risk of F’ing up your shoulders unless you have a serious groove for the jerk. I would prescribe these for advanced lifters, or people that have a nice set of jerk blocks. That all being said, jerk drives fix jerks gone wrong, every time.
These 2 movements will work to fix your jerk. There is nothing worse than standing up with a weight in the clean and then dumping the bar on your head, because you just don’t have what it takes to finish the lift off. Don’t let that happen. Use these two rarely seen movements to do just that.