Monday, July 25, 2011

Split Jerk Recovery

At the last open session of the university's weightlifting club, I was performing snatches and cleans. The club's coach was giving me pointers for a better pull.

His feedback was great so I asked him to critique my split jerk. I wasn't half bad and he offered suggestions to improve my execution. I recently wrote about performing the split jerk here - the fourth bullet point comes from him.

At the time I didn't understand the purpose of the front foot's half step back during the recover. I thought it was easier to bring the back leg forward in one single motion. Even in high level competitions you will see some lifters use the back leg only to finish the split jerk. For example, look at the impeccable Svetlana Podobedova:

First clean & jerk at 6:45 mark, the second at 8:00.
Russian born lifters are dumb strong.

She lifts remarkably well with her split jerks being fairly strong and solid. She doesn't do the half step back, half step forward to recover but instead she does a single stride forward. Go back and watch her stand from each jerk. Notice how she takes a few extra steps to regain her balance? Her first split jerk isn't a problem for her. However the second could be troublesome for many lifters to stabilize overhead.

Svetlana ain't no slouch and managed it. But if you can't, it can result in dumping the weight forward or even worse....

Hopefully this doesn't happen to anyone else.

I haven't tried it yet, but I think the wider the split jerk the harder it might be to safely recover when using a single step forward.

Regardless, don't miss any jerks due to poor recovery! If you can get the weight fully overhead, be sure to keep it there.

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