Pro Tips to Improve your Split Jerk Technique for CrossFit and Weightlifting

The Split Jerk is a movement that requires immense amounts of power and technique and in contrast with the push or power jerk, is used to lift the most weight. If you want to push your Clean and Jerk PR through the roof, perfect this technique.

In WODs we often see a preference of push/power jerk or even a “push press” over split jerks. If you ever have to face a heavy clean and jerk, the time put into mastering the split jerk may help you achieve those much needed kilograms.

1. BODY POSITIONING: SPLIT JERK – NOT SPLIT SPLAT!

When someone tries a split jerk for the first time, it is often more of a foot splat, but it needs to be precise. As a coach, at a side view, I look for a nice straight line between the bar, shoulders and hips with an even distance between the feet. This allows your legs to take the weight rather than your lower back or joints.
There are simple positioning cues such as:

  • Is the shin of the front leg vertical?
  • Is the back leg bent?
  • Is the back foot on the toes and correctly aligned with the knee?

The Germans always have great jerk technique which really uses the legs rather than the lower back, check out Julia Schwarzbach with 103kg

Aside from the legs, make sure that the shoulders and hips are directly underneath the bar when you receive the weight, this will make it feel light.

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