Split Jerk - Position #1 - The Start


  1. The bar is in a correct ‘front rack’ position and balanced over the mid foot.
  2. Breath and brace the lats, abs, and back.
  3. Stance is about shoulder width with toes straight or turned out slightly - most people do better with the toes turned out just a little.



There is no one formula to help you find the perfect grip width. It depends on your limb proportions and what “feels” the best over time.

Having said that, the hands will grip the bar outside the shoulders. We want to be able to maintain a full grip on the bar vs. having the bar only in the finger tips. This gives us more control and drive during the jerk.

[PHOTO: outside vs inside the shoulders]
[PHOTO: full grip vs. open fingers]

The advantage of taking a slightly wider grip is that it shortens the distance that the bar needs to travel. This makes it easier to lift heavier weights since we don’t need to drive the bar up as high. Is usually results in a jerk that feels crisp.

But if the grip is too wide, it becomes awkward to hold in our front rack position and more difficult to support overhead



We want to be as stiff and tight as possible during the lift and it starts with setting up properly in the start position. The bar on your shoulders plus gravity is trying to crush you. The tighter we are in our abs, back and lats, the better we can resist this, and the more we can maintain an ideal position during the lift.



Pick a stance that feels comfortable to you, but the general recommendation is a stance that is slightly wide than hip width, with the toes turned out slightly.

A narrow stance with the feet pointed straight can work for some, but it makes it harder to drip straight down (which we’ll talk about in the next section).



Potential Problems and Their Fixes

1. Front Rack Mobility

Practicing these drills in your warm-ups probably won't be enough. You'll want to do them daily to get good results. In general, more practice on them is better.

If your wrists get a bit sore in the front rack position, try wrist wraps or taping your wrists. This can add some support and really take the edge off as you get used to being in that position. 


2. Lack of Consistency

This is pretty simple. You just need to practice and go through your mental check list. Is my grip right? Is my alignment correct? Are my feet in the right place? Am I getting as tight as I can?

Peter Roberts