Even though the jerk is not given as much attention in comparison to snatch and clean, still it is an equally important CrossFit workout. Most athletes spend much time exercising, but they can’t seem to get the jerk correctly. There is a susceptibility to develop bad habits in exercising that makes it hard for you to get the jerk right.
In order to address the above challenges, there are a number of assistance exercises that you can pick up, put them in your routine, and improve the jerk.
This is a multidimensional exercise prominently known as an upper body strength lift. However, experience shows that push press has so much potential than just the upper body strength lifts part of it. Since then dip and drive action is similar to the jerk, the lift trains the timing of the movement, the strength of the legs, the postural strength of the dip position, the elasticity of the legs to accommodate the changing direction in the dip and drive as well as the transition timing between the legs drive and the arms push.
Therefore, the push press is a single exercise, but it has a lot of elements packed in it. You can use it in isolation as a teaching exercise or technique or even a strength exercise.
Some lifters may not like it, but the power jerk is very effective in improving the split jerk. It imposes a massive demand on overhead flexibility, and this could be the reason why some may feel it is uncomfortable. However, when well performed, power jerks can give you lots of benefits.
The most outstanding benefit of this CrossFit exercise is that it trains a balanced, vertical dip and drive. Because of the power receiving position, the placement of the overhead bar is supposed to be precise. The dip and drive must be vertical whereas the bar must move back behind the neck to give latitude for the trunk to incline forward slightly to complete the overhead position.
The power jerk can be used as a teaching exercise or technique as well as a training exercise.
Jerk Dip Squat
This is a simple, but highly rewarding exercise. The lifter sits down into the dip position and then stands back up at a controlled speed. This exercise improves the drive by ensuring that you have a proper position to drive from. Because of the controlled speed, the lifter feels constant pressure on the heel region and this prevents shifting forward. It also serves to keep tension on the quads during the movement.
It can be very frustrating for a lifter to get a weight overhead and thereafter fail in sustaining it up there. The jerk recovery exercise helps in building maximal overhead position strength and the control needed for recovery to a standing position. Building strength and confidence is a very important component of the jerk and how best you can do this will determine your overall success in this workout.
There are lots of other jerk exercises you can incorporate into your CrossFit WOD, but the ones listed above will give you mileage as you seek to master the jerk.