There is nothing more frustrating than missing the jerk after a great clean! And, think about it, to hit a good split jerk, you really only have to push the bar about 6-8” or just above the hairline. You should never miss a jerk! (Well, in theory anyway!)
The biggest problem I have seen is an improper setup. Without a strong, tight core, the bar “sags” on the dip, driving the bar forward and enough out of position to cause the miss. In order for the bar to be driven overhead properly, ending up “right behind the ears”, the setup has to be right.
Here is what I look for in the perfect setup:
- Take a big breath in
- As the inhalation takes place, “lift and spread” the chest setting a wider “table” for the bar to set on (the bar sitting on the clavicles and shoulders)
- Be careful not to lift the shoulder so the bar loses contact with the clavicles
- The elbows will spread out a bit and even drop down just a tad
- Many lifters try to lift the elbows without spreading them but when they “dip”, the elbows tend to drop, particularly with heavier weights
- Relax the hands but keep the core tight
With this proper setup, now the body is in the correct position for the dip to be straight down with the elbows staying in that same neutral position as at the start. Think of the body as the “fulcrum” allowing the bar to get that nice bend and rebound. The bar has an elastic quality to it and this allows the bar to work for you.
Bottom line is that a proper jerk is all about center of gravity. By getting the body in the proper setup position, the center of gravity of the bar stays as close to the lifters center of gravity as possible. Then, on the dip and drive, the lifter is able to utilize his/her powerful legs and get the most out of the drive. Straight down, straight up, perfect split position.
Never want to miss a jerk again?? Set it up right and you are on the right track!