Split Jerk - Introduction and the Basics


The purpose of this course is to enable anyone to easily understand the fundamentals of the split jerk, and immediately apply them to make their lifting (or that of their clients) better. I’ll focus on perfecting the basics, making individual adjustments, and demystifying common problems.

You’ll also leave with a simple way to analyse anyone’s technique, including your own, and to understand what technique adjustments need to be made based on the result you’re getting.

Here are some examples of good split jerks.




The basic idea of a jerk is to use your legs to drive the bar straight up, and then to quickly get underneath the bar by splitting the legs in a lunge-like fashion to “catch” it in a stable position. The arms and legs both work hard to drive the bar up, but it’s the leg drive and speed of the lifter getting under the bar that enables lifters to jerk twice as much (or more) as they can military press.



4 Key Phases

The split jerk has 4 main phases. 

We're going to do into each phase in detail later, but these are the basic positions in a correct split jerk.

PHASE 1 - The Start
The lifter is standing up straight with the bar racked across the shoulders. 

PHASE 2 - Dip and Drive
Keeping the torso vertical, the lifter bends the knees to lower down (dip: phase 2A), and then explodes up (drive: phase 2B) to push the bar up off the shoulders.

PHASE 3 - The Catch
The lifter splits the feet and punches the arms up to 'catch' the bar with the elbows straight in a balanced, stable body position.

PHASE 4 - Recovery
The lifter brings the feet together, leading with the front foot first, and demonstrates control over the bar before lowering it or dropping it to the floor. 

Peter Roberts