Split Jerk - Position #2 - The Dip & Drive

Once we have the bar in position, it’s time to get the bar moving. Remember, the legs are the big engine that makes a jerk really work. Obviously the arms are very important also, but the Dip and Drive phase is mainly about the legs. 


  1. Vertical Torso Position
  2. Bar stays “fixed” to shoulders
  3. Vertical bar path



The shoulder, hip and ankle need to stay in one line. Otherwise we lose balance and will have a tendency to push the bar forward, instead of straight up. When the bar goes forward, it’s hard to control and leads to missed lifts.

This also means that your weight will stay slightly back toward the heels (60% heels, 40% ball of foot, to avoid tipping forward and coming off the toes in the drive).

[PHOTO & VIDEO: good dip and drive, tipped forward]



The bar needs to stay in solid contact with the shoulders during the dip. If the bar becomes unsettled during the dip, you will lose the ability to fully transfer the force of the drive into the bar, leading to missed lifts and less total weight lifted.




The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Because we’re working up to moving heavy weights, adding extra distance that the bar has to travel is a bad idea.

When we view the side of the barbell, we want it to move in a vertical line.

If the bar deviates, it will be hard to catch and control, and will lead to missed lifts.

[VIDEO: with motion analysis]


Potential Problems and Their Fixes

Weight Shift to Toes

Practice (all drills and exercises listed below): Wall dips, weighted dip & drive, push press

Key Mental Cues: “stay on the heels” or “drive up through the heels”

Knees Collapse

Practice: band side shuffles, dip and drives with band around knee.

Key Mental Cues: Glute Tension/Screw feet into the floor

Chest collapse

Practice: Practice: Wall dips, weighted dip & drive, push press, proper bracing with abs, back and lats.

Body stays vertical but slides forward

Practice: Wall dips, weighted dip & drive, push press

Hips Tuck Under

Practice: Wall dips, weighted dip & drive, bracing with abs, back and lats

Dipping Too Low


Practice: Wall dips, dip & drive, push press 

Key Mental Cue: "Short Dip"


Bar Looses Contact


Practice: bracing with abs, back and lats. Weighted dip & drive, push press
Slow the dip down. Think “Load and Explode”

Elbows Drop

Practice: push press, weighted dip and drive, bracing with abs, back and lats.

Key Mental Cue: “Elbows up”

Incomplete Extension

Practice: jumping footwork drill, push press - all with an emphasis on full extension

Key Mental Cue: “push the floor away from my feet” or “straighten the knees and squeeze the quads”

Arm and Leg Timing is Backwards

Practice: push press, doing jerks at moderate weight and focusing on using 90% legs
Think: “My legs are the thing that needs to drive this weight up.

Head snaps back/close eyes


Practice: Push press, brace the abs, back and lats
Think: “keep my eyes looking at one spot the entire time”


Corrective Drills

Click the link to open a video description of each drill.

Wall Dips or Bar-In-Front-Of-Chest Dips

Walking-Out Footwork Drill

Jumping Dip-Drive-Footwork Drill

Weighted Dip and Drives

Push Press

Dip Drive Complex with Light Weight

Proper bracing with abs, back and lats

Dip and Drives with Band around Knee

Visualizing what it means to be straight (your body stays in the same place, straight down, straight-up, straight down again)

Band side shuffles

Peter Roberts