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The stable split jerk

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The split jerk can be divided into several phases, like snatching or cleaning.

  1. Start after cleaning
  2. Dip (downward movement)
  3. Dip (upward movement)
  4. Drive
  5. Receiving and split

As with all other exercises, it is advisable to work through all phases as cleanly as possible. When it comes to split jerk, working at the center of gravity is particularly important. Only those who move the barbell always in the center of gravity will be able to accelerate it optimally throughout and stand safely under it in the split.

In the following, I will explain the individual phases and explain the corresponding focal points.

Split Jerk

1. Start after cleaning

The barbell rests initially on the collarbone. The feet stand hip-wide and rotate slightly outwards. This ensures that an optimal power transmission takes place. The upper body positions itself in such a way that the barbell is not behind the metatarsus in extension to the floor.

Immediately before the dip, tension is built up in the upper body through deep inhalation. I recommend to fix the barbell at the same time by lifting the elbows on the collarbone. This prevents the barbell from sliding forward during the downward movement or from tilting the upper body. (By tilting the upper body, the tension cannot be maintained and the dip takes place before the center of gravity, so the barbell will inevitably move forward)

Dip (downward movement)

When moving down, it is important not to initiate this uncontrolled, in the sense of “dropping”. Because in this way the barbell is hit at the reversal point in a counter movement, making acceleration in the opposite direction almost impossible.

Instead, the barbell should be moved straight down. The starting path varies from athlete to athlete. For me, the starting distance downwards is about 23 cm and thus ends exactly in the position from which I would jump up on a box.

3. Dip (Upward Movement)

The reversal point is meant to be the point of force reversal. A braking force becomes an acceleration force. Also here it becomes clear – whoever drops the barbell in the opening position has to use a lot of force to brake the barbell. This force is then missing for acceleration.

Symbolically the downward movement and the reversal point can be compared to the tensioning and releasing of an arc. The initial upward movement should also be linear and above all explosive. After all, speed must be brought to the barbell via this path.

4. Drive

Throughout phases one to three, the feet stand uninterruptedly with full load on the metatarsus. Immediately after the end of the initial upward movement, hyperextension sets in. The feet shift the load from the metatarsus to the now stretched toes to give the barbell additional height. In addition, the arms actively push the barbell further. So it is by no means simply a “jump under the barbell”. The more height you can actively give the barbell, the more time you have to place your feet later.

5. Receiving and Split

The purpose of the split is to stand safely and stably under the barbell. In comparison, the standing joint can hardly be corrected in case of a technically poor execution, because the feet are placed parallel and not offset.

The lunge should not be too long or too narrow so that stability does not suffer. The rule of thumb here is one foot length from the starting point forward for the front foot and two foot lengths backward for the rear foot. It must be noted that the knee angle of the front leg is not acute but open. So if the barbell is in front, you can counter-steer with the front leg. The rear leg must also be angled at the knee joint. The upper body remains upright and the back foot, if the barbell presses from above, can yield in a controlled manner without changing the upper body position.

Meanwhile, the barbell is positioned behind the head and remains securely fixed there until the end of the lift.

To learn the correct split jerk, I recommend the training of dry exercises, or training with the empty barbell bar. You should also learn a rhythm for the starting movement. Because this is the most relaxed ways to split jerk.

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