The jerk, also known as push jerk or two-stroke, is one of the most common 9 basic CrossFit movements. Specifically, it is the last movement of the progression of exercises. shoulder press and the push press.

It is part of the clean and jerk combo of weightlifting, although in CrossFit We also do it independently. It is the movement with which more weight is lifted over the head.

In this post we will analyze the keys to the movement, as well as common mistakes to avoid.

What is a jerk?

Jerk is a movement that consists of lifting overhead a load that is placed on the shoulders. It is performed by flexing the knees and hips quickly and forcefully to push the bar up while the body prepares to receive the bar from below.

What muscles do work?

 The most involved are deltoid, the trapeziuso and serratus, although the serratus should also be activated. core muscles to stabilize the load.

To carry out this movement, the stability, coordination and balance.

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Jerk technique step by step

We will explain all the phases of the power jerk or push jerkwhich we refer to most of the time when we simply say jerk.

Starting position

The exercise starts from the front rack positionwith the bar resting on the trapezoids and feet shoulder width apart.

The core must be activated to hold the load firmly.

The elbows are more advanced than the body line.ready to push the bar up.


In this first gesture, the dipthe athlete lower a few centimeters by bending at the knees and hips in a slow and controlled manner. 

The chest is held upright to ensure the verticality of the movement. 

jerk weightlifting


Known as drive in English. 

In this phase, the leg strength is transferrediere to the bar, jumping and explosively extending the hips

The head is pulled back slightly to leave on the way to the bar.

push jerk


Announced as the catchthe athlete must bend knees and hips to lower and receive the barbell overhead, blocking shoulders and elbows. 

This is the moment of maximum coordination in which the athlete stands under the bar while continuing to push up. 

jerk reception


Once the load is completely stabilized, the feet return to the starting positionextending the hip fully.

jerk weightlifting


From this movement base, the reception can be realized in different ways:

Split Jerk

Also known in Spanish as jerk with step forward.

In this case, the feet are moved to the stride position when performing the jump. The foot that remains further back keeps the heel elevated.

Moving one foot forward creates a more solid base and allows to move heavier weights than in the previous version.

Recovery is relatively easy.

This variety is the most common in weightlifting.

split jerk tutorial

Chinese jerk / squat jerk

It's like a power jerk, but the barbell is received in a full squat position

While it offers more travel to receive the bar, requires much more flexibility in order to make a squat overhead with narrow grip

Chinese push jerk

On the other hand, the recovery is also more difficultThe load must be lifted from a much lower position, requiring much more lower body strength.

Depending on the material with which the exercise is performed:

Jerk with bar

This is the most common one we see in CrossFit classes. In this post you can learn more about CrossFit bars and get yours at a discount.

Jerk with dumbbells

It can be replaced by two dumbbells that start at the shoulders and end in the overhead position.

In this case it can be done with one or two dumbbells at a time, as required by the exercise.

jerk dumbbell

Jerk with kettlebell

In the same way as dumbbells, you can use kettlelbells, which also start at the shoulders, with the handle facing inward, resting on the chest, and are then used to support the shoulders. rotate slightly in the thrust to make the weight end up behind the hand and achieve greater stability in the final locking.

jerk kettlebell

Also can be worked with one or two hands.

Common errors

Dipping forward

When the athlete does not balance weightIf the barbell is not in the front load, it is common for it to sag forward when front-loaded. This can result in loss of the bar in the lift.

Solution: to think about carrying the knees out instead of sinking in. may be a way to correct this tendency. It is a way to preserve verticality for when the athlete extends.

Lowering too much in the dip

The athlete must down just a few centimeters in the dip. When this movement is exaggerated, it is easy to get out of control and lose verticality.

Solution: filming the athlete at various angles helps to correct problems of this type, as it improves the understanding of what you actually do and not what you think you do.

Do not extend the hip

Announced as the full power of the hip is required to push. When the weight of the bar is challenging it is common not to perform the full extension and this results in a loss of strength.

Solution: practice with less weight by focusing on this part dthe movement.

ReminderEven CrossFit pros spend hours just working on technique to improve their movements. Never think you are too good not to improve the quality of your movements. Technique always comes before kg.

Useful accessories

  • Beltespecially recommended for lifting with high percentages.
  • Weightlifting shoesThis shoe designed for Olympic lifts is the most suitable for exclusive strength training.
  • Rack or blocksin the case of being in thentraining the jerk separately from the cleanIt is interesting to have an element at shoulder height to avoid having to carry a load every time.

If you need a piece of this style in your gym you can get it here at a discount.

Iron blocks

Wooden blocks

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