Faults & Fixes: The Jerk

Clean and Jerk Cycle, Week 6: Focus on that Form (PART 2)

So we talked about how tired we are, the fix and faults of the clean, and how awesome you guys are. Now let’s talk about the second half of this complex movement:

The Jerk

The Fault: Your body is falling forward.

The chest comes forward and knees track over toes which causes everything to fall forward. When you go to jerk weight overhead, you want that barbell path to be moving straight overhead.

The Fix: Move your body straight down, driving those knees out, keeping your core tight and moving straight down into that dip, without letting the elbows drop.

Drill It: Have someone hold a PVC pipe directly in front of your barbell. If your barbell taps the PVC pipe, that is a good indication you are dropping your chest or leaning forward.


The Fault: Slow Drop

Like the clean, you are literally pulling your body underneath the load. You want to start dropping underneath the bar before your arms have reach full extension. At the bottom of the drop, your arms should then be fully extended.

The Problem? Fully extending the arms before the drop. Or dropping too slowly.

The Fix: Hold the barbell at eye level and practice, quickly and aggressively dropping underneath the barbell.


The Fault: Narrow Split

Like many things in life, in order for a lift to be executed well, you need a solid foundation, so your receiving stance is going to play a crucial role in the lift.

The Problem? Your stance is too narrow; you are lunging rather than splitting.

The Fix: Check your receiving split stance. Here is a good way to indicate where your feet should land.


The Fault: Hyperextension


Again, when we don’t keep our core tight, bad things happen. In this case, our lower back bears the bulk of the weight.

The Problem: We have relaxed our core, letting our butts stick out and creating a “C” shape in the lower back. Not only is this harmful to your back, it also creates instability in the lift, which makes it easier to lose the lift.

The Fix: Do a mini-crunch with your core. Stack your bones, you want your hips directly underneath your rib-cage. You should feel like you are doing a “hollow rock” while standing. Identify this issue by standing with your entire back against the wall, with a PVC pipe overhead. This is how you should feel at the top of your lift.


I know this is a ton of information – but you’re all smart and capable. So guys, remember: keep your core tight, engage your glutes, and move aggressively. There is nothing passive or slow about Olympic Lifting, so work on these drills and let’s hit some PRs next week!