The Split Jerk. All you have to do is get the bar from your shoulders to overhead. You would think this would be the easiest of the lifts, and for most it is. But for some of us, keyword “us”, hitting a technically good split jerk is the equivalent of
finding a CrossFitter with good rowing technique seemingly impossible.
So today we are going to educate ourselves a little by
making fun of analyzing a technically poor split jerk.
The first thing you probably notice is the dip and the…um…un-dip? The first five seconds of this video more closely resembles a pause front squat then it does a proper dip and drive. The dip of a jerk should be short (how short? Probably shorter then what you’re doing) and succinct. There should be no pause, but a smooth change of direction while keeping the bar path vertical. You don’t need to sit in the bottom and “power up” before you drive up.
As you can see, not only is there a long pause in the bottom of the
squat dip, but there is a huge lurch forward as well. This can be attributed to two things. First, weight distribution in the foot. The lifter goes immediately to her toes as she dips, instead of keeping the weight evenly distributed across the foot. Then watch the elbows. The lifter starts with elbows high and parallel to the floor, but as she dips the elbows fall and eventually become perpendicular to the ground. Everyone has a different rack position that works best for them, but if you start with elbows high, they need to stay high.
The next big problem with this jerk is the footwork, or lack thereof. Yes, it is called a split jerk, but we aren’t actually trying to do a split. The back leg of the lifter shoots out and is completely straight. Ideally, we want the back foot to hit the ground first. To do this, the back leg will not be able to shoot out that far, and that in turn will give us that nice bend in the knee, which isn’t just pretty, but serves a purpose. When the back leg is a mile away and straight, all of the weight is going to be on your front foot causing you to miss forward. A split jerk can be thought of like a snatch balance. You want to drop under the bar. When the back foot hits first you have a solid base to cushion the weight and equally distribute it between front and back legs.
Next time we will talk about some drills we like to use to help people improve upon these technical flaws. In the mean time, start videoing and looking at your own jerks to see if you have similar things to improve upon.
Note: Use your highest 2rm or 3rm over the last 4 weeks to calculate percentages
1) Tall Snatch: 4-5 light singles to warm up
2) Snatch from blocks (just above knee): 5×2@80%
1) Floating Snatch First Pull (3 count pause at knee): 5×3@80% (with PERFECT technique)
WATCH THIS: Floating Snatch First Pull DEMO VIDEO
2) Snatch Balance + Overhead Squat: 1+1×2- 5×2@80%
1a) Bench Press: 5×3@80%
1b) Pendlay Row: 5×3@80%