4 Simple Steps to a Stronger Split Jerk

January 10, 2017

4 Simple Steps to a Stronger Split Jerk

By Jenna Torres, Coach

Improving technique is key for beginner and intermediate lifters to progress through PR plateaus.

If you are looking for a new Split Jerk PR, you have had a hard time getting under the bar, or you simply feel your split stance is unstable...these tips will be for you!

A question not asked as often as it should be is, "How Do I Setup My Split Jerk Stance?" 

Typical Mistakes

Here are a two key mistakes I often see both new and intermediate lifters make with their Split Jerk stance:

  1. Land in very long long stance.  Many times athletes move their back knee really far back in an effort to get under the bar more.
  2. Land too narrow in the Split Jerk, simply because it feels natural.
However, this long and narrow stance is very unstable, it also takes a lot longer to get into a long stance. We can get away with this stance with lighter weights, but once we have to lift heavy weights we will find that it is very difficult to support weight in this position and that we don't have the time to get into that long stance. 

    While it may feel awkward at first, landing in a shorter and wider split stance is a much more efficient and stable position to catch weight overhead. So how do we get in this stance?

    The Correct Setup for the Split Jerk Stance

    This is simplest and most effective way I've found to learn the Split Jerk stance. See the video for a demonstration.

    We are going to setup the front and back legs both at 90 degree angles.

    1. Walk your feet out to your typical  squat stance. If you have a very narrow squat stance you may need to go wider, more like shoulder distance.
    2. Take one step forward, take one step back.  Keeping your feet this wide and without moving your hips forward or backwards, take a step forward with your front foot and a step back with your back foot.
    3. Drop your back knee straight down, keeping the weight in your front foot in your heel and keeping your shin vertical. At this point your front leg and back legs should make almost perfect 90 degree angles. Your front knee is right on top of your ankle and your back knee is right below your hip.
    4. Push up and slightly back in your front heel.
    Again, this may feel weird at first and may have to make small adjustments, but if your chest is up, your weight is even displaced between front heel and the ball of your back foot, and your core is tight you should feel way more stable with your hands overhead.

    If you have been told your split stance is narrow, your back knee is bent, you have had a hard time getting under the bar, or you simply feel your split stance is unstable, try this out. Let us know if this helps you!


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