Behind the Neck Jerk: Why do we do them?

There are many uses for behind the neck jerks and most of the uses are due to one main reason. The bar is on your back and is easier for the lifter to drive the bar straight. In traditional jerks or overhead movements the bar is on your chest and the athlete must tuck the chin slightly back keep the forehead out of the bar path. The straighter bar path and the ability to drive the weight with more power from the back of the shoulders allows most lifters to perform heavier loads An athlete who is trained with proper technique in behind the neck jerks may be able to jerk 5-10% more behind the neck. Holding this weight overhead prepares us for holding the same weight from the front of the neck as the receiving positions remain constant. Training behind the neck jerks correctly, explosively trains the glutes and hip flexors which are vital in any explosive sport. One could easily program traditional jerks and behind the neck jerks in the same week at 90% or above, without running into any muscular conflicts. A common mistake seen in the behind the neck jerk is a straight back leg in the split. This will cause instability and will limit the amount of weight one can lift. Who are behind the neck jerks for?:

1. Lifters struggling to get the bar back behind the ears at the point of lock out

2. Lifters who need to improve their bar path with traditional jerks

3. Lifters who are training 5-7 days a week with high volume of overhead exercises from the chest (behind the neck jerks or overhead movements will allow for the clavicles to recover from the work load)

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