There are two different schools of thought in elbow positions in the Jerk, the first being a low elbow version where the arms come more in to play and the second being a high elbow (similar to a front rack position) which allows for a bigger base to throw against. I am here to hype the second position where we are no longer relying on the arms but focusing solely on our hip and jumping the weight off our body.
From a coaches perspective one of the most common errors is leaning forward in the dip. The chest is soft and dropping, the entire body coming forward even if ever so slightly which results in a loss of hip and shoulder alignment. When the athlete fails to perform a straight up and down dip they are unable to transfer as much power from the legs and the bar is projected out at an angle instead of in a straight up and back over the body fashion. Jerking with the elbows high promotes a proud chest position, a more erect dip and prevents the athlete from providing pressure on the bar with arms to soon. The athlete is forced to jump the weight up with the much more powerful hip.
Remember to be patient with the dip (slow and controlled on the way down) and keep it shallow with a quick turn around (like a ball point pen). Tina is demonstrating a great dip in the pic on the left – a 2 inch dip initiated from the ankle and not the hip. With anything more than a 2 inch dip, gravity is going to take over and the weight is going to start taking you in the wrong direction. In the pic on the right, it is going to be hard for Tina to generate any power coming out of the dip because it is so deep.
Lastly, the finish. Get your head out of the way and pull yourself under the bar. your head should be inside your arms before you hear your feet hit the floor so you don’t leave the bar out in front. As far as the landing is concerned in the split variety, there should be about 50/50 weight distribution between the feet (you can cheat to the front a tad but don’t overdo it). The bar is line with the shoulder and hip with the glutes and abs turned on. Foot position is not on a tight rope, leave a good foot to two feet between the two of them and make sure you are on the ball of your back foot (the heel should not be down). More stability can be created by pointing the feet slightly toward each other.
That’s all you need to know. No go work that technique and move some weight!
12 Deadlifts (155,105)
9 Hang Power Cleans
6 Push Jerks
* Rx version requires push jerks and a pause at the hang for each clean.
Level 3 (135,95)
Level 2 (115,75)
Level 1 (95, 45)
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