When watching high level weightlifters you may see Olympic or world medalists utilizing a power jerk or squat jerk technique vs. a split.
How does a lifter know what is right for them? The answer is pretty simple, work both of the movements into your program and determine which movement you are most consistent with at weights above 90% of your current max clean and jerk.
Split vs. Power Jerk
1) Split jerk – easier to balance, if a weight is forward the lifter can utilize the front knee to save the weight
by bending the knee forward to align the weight overhead
2) Power/Squat jerk you can achieve a lower depth
3) A split jerk requires faster foot movement
4) A split jerk does not require as straight of a dip to achieve a successful lift
If you are a lifter who is unsure which technique to use for the jerk, follow the below steps in your program:
1) Program 1 Power Jerk day from the racks or blocks in the 2-3 rep range
2) Program 1 split jerk day from the racks or blocks in the 2-3 rep range
3) Program 2 clean and jerk days and alternate between using the split jerk and power jerk
After you complete one month of training, analyze your weights to determine your success rate with each movement. It is also essential to have a coach assess your technique to help determine any technical improvements that may be made in each movement. The dip and drive will be one of the most significant determining factors for which technique to utilize. If a lifter has mastered a straight dip and drive they will have a much easier time performing power jerks due to there being less room for correction since you’re feet are on the same plane underneath the bar.
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