OCF Movement Academy: Split Jerk Prep


The split jerk is one of the most and dynamic movements we do with a barbell. 

Taking the barbell from shoulder to overhead is a shorter distance then the ground weightlifting movements (snatch and clean) that it takes precision and accuracy to pull off well. 

So how does one warm up and prep for a split jerk? 

Here’s how

Movement #1 – Behind Neck Front Rack Mobility

This is the only non rep-able movement in our series, so start off with 20-30 seconds for 1-2 sets.

Stand with the barbell behind your neck, full grip on the bar, core and legs tight.  

Take a big breath of air in.  As you exhale rotate your helps up and in as much as possible.  Hold there and try to get the elbows up as high as possible without the fingers slipping off. 

Why do this?

The stronger and more mobile your front rack is the easier it will be to have a secure rack position for the jerk. Also for the barbell to go in it’s proper line you must have your elbows in front of the barbell slightly versus behind it. 

Strict Press

Have the bar in a secure front rack position with elbows slightly in front of the bar.  The barbell should pressing up in the upper shoulder and chest.

From there squeeze your glutes and legs.  

Press the barbell up and slightly back. In order to do this properly you will have to move your head out of the way.

We recommend the Pez dispenser.  Lift the chin up and back and keep the bar moving slightly back until the barbell has cleared the head and then return it for the lock out. 

Why do this?

Helps develop a strong front rack and pressing strength.

Teaches how to move head properly. 

Dip Hold

The dip is where most faults happen in the jerk.  Falling forward, weight not being balanced all contribute to faults in the dip.

Here’s how to do it. 

Bar at the front rack, elbows slightly in front of the bar legs locked and extending. 

From there bend your knees slightly bent (only low enough for you to jump) and hold.

You should feel your feet pushing through the ground evenly. 

Barbell should maintain its position on your neck. 

Why do this? 

As mentioned above the dip is where most faults happen.  The better you get a being stable and balanced here the better the jerk. 

Push Press 

The push press takes the strict press and the dip hold and combines them. 

Dip slightly then aggressively drive and extend your hips creating force to elevate the barbell from your torso. 

As barbell is elevating press with your arms to ensure a secure lock out.

Why do this? 

Helps teach hip extension. 

Helps teach timing of arm engagement in dynamic lifts. 

Teaching bar path in a dynamic sense. 

Press in the split 

Take your feet out your split jerk landing stance. 

Front Knee slightly behind or just over ankle, back knee slightly bent under hip, back heel off ground, upright torso, barbell on your neck. 

From there press the barbell above your head. (Don’t forget proper head movement)

The goal is to stay in your split the entire time.

Why do this?

Ensures proper foot stance 

Helps develop comfort in catch position. 

Split Jerk 

We finally made it! 

Now it’s time to take all of the points of performance from above and combine them to make your split jerk the best ever. 

Use each movement above to sharpen the full version. 

Perform 3-5 reps per movement, ensure you are hitting each point of performance for the movement. 

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