#3 Should you give up on the split jerk?
With Chinese superstar weightlifters such as Tian Tao and Lu Xiaojun Squat Jerking enormous weights, there has been much debate to whether the split jerk is the best form of Jerking. Many new lifters complain that it doesn’t feel like a natural movement. Give it time. Like the Clean and the Snatch, the jerk will take time to develop.
There are three main reasons elite weightlifters split jerk:
- It allows significant depth (about parallel squat depth)
- It has a very broad base in many directions.
- It requires the least flexibility of all the jerk style.
Power Jerks require the lifter to lift the bar higher than a split or a squat jerk, have a great deal of overhead flexibility and be precise with bar placement overhead, as well as during your dip and drive phase.
Squat jerks give the greatest depth (a full squat), however it requires a massive amount of flexibility, strength, and precision to be able to overhead squat (with a jerk grip, usually from a dead stop) AFTER a heavy Clean. You can’t shift forward at all. Even the world’s best squat jerkers will get it wrong. See Lu Xiaojun and Tian Tao at World’s last year.
If you’re having trouble with the Split Jerk, Invest the correct amount of time training it. Try these complexes to help you: Power Jerk + Split Jerk or Push Press + Split Jerk.
Most people focus on how much they can Clean, but forget that it doesn’t count unless you can Jerk that same amount of weight. This leads to a technical deficiency. Give yourself time to work on improving the Split Jerk before you ditch it. Remember Olympic Weightlifting is a marathon, not a sprint.