Working the Jerk
Many athletes struggle with the jerk portion of their lifts. They may have many different issues. Shoulder mobility, shoulder strength, ab strength, tricep strength, rhythm issues and even issues finding the proper split position.
One of the easiest ways to figure out where your weakness is, is using the slow eccentric portion(negative or lower portion) of the jerk. We will ask our athletes to jerk about 65% of their best jerks off of a squat rack, recover the feet back together and then slowly lower the jerk from the overhead position to the rack position. After 2-3 sets, ask the athlete where they feel the eccentric portion of the lift the most. Is it their abs or their shoulders, their upper back or triceps?
Be sure to keep track of their weekly progression. Ask the athlete a few days after the slow eccentric jerks are executed how they feel. They may feel a burn in their shoulders the day they do the movement but the following day they may be very sore in their abs or shoulders. Keep note of this type of bio-feedback for future use when improve the jerk!
Below is a video of Garage Strength owner, Dane Miller, jerking 205k/451lbs. It’s not the prettiest of jerks, but Dane has some impressive shoulder and tricep strength. Clearly, his issue is his shoulder MOBILITY!!