I woke up this morning to…silence. My power died. No AC. Dread ensued. What would happen to my fresh vegetables or, worse yet, my delicious bacon?! Oh, the horror! What brought me out of my morning hysteria? Well, first the AC eventually came back on. Second, it was another day and another pound (our currency is the pound. God Save the Queen!) lifted with The Movement Program!
Jerks we are not, but jerks did we tackle! The split jerk, specifically. This movement is less about pressing the bar up with the arms and more about a quick controlled drop step under the bar, locking the arms out underneath a weightless piece of metal. This is a lift that takes a lot of confidence and courage. There’s always a (irrational) fear that the bar will land on your head or that if we drop too low we won’t be able to stand up. You know what I have to say about that: f*ck that and sell out!
How do you sell out on a split jerk? First, is your setup flawless? Hands firmly around the bar in the modified rack position (elbows slightly in front of the bar)? Feet directly (I mean DIRECTLY) underneath your hips with feet pointing straight ahead? Head neutral? Remember your start position will dictate your finish! Once you are adequately set and calmed, take a big deep breath WITH YOUR BELLY. Breathing with your belly will fill up the excess space in your abdomen and subsequently your support your lower back helping you generate tension throughout your core. Go ahead and notice the difference between breathing and holding with your belly as opposed to breathing up and holding into your shoulders. Remember, increased tension allows you to generate more torque, which equals more force, which then equals more power, which results in plain old awesomeness.
I would also like to address the dip and drive stage of this lift. A lot of you seem to drop slightly forward when you dip. To counter this, make sure that when you dip, you are sending your knees slightly out as opposed to just straight forward. This will help you keep your torso more vertical and also allow your legs to generate more torque out of the bottom of your dip.
The finish of the jerk, the drive and drop, is where the plot thickens. It is important to for you to reach full extension of the hips before you drop under the bar. Why? No drive to full extension means a lift devoid of power. You are simply dipping and then falling under the bar, never giving yourself a chance to make the bar weightless. News flash: if the bar isn’t made weightless chances are you will not have the necessary time to get under the bar. The last part of the finish is the drop. This is where the real selling out must happen. The lead leg step must be quick and far enough in front of you to get that lower leg almost perfectly perpendicular to the ground. Get it in your head that after you reach full extension, you are going to go all out on that drop and step in front of the bar like your life depended on it. For some that might mean a dream date with Channing Tatum (cough!… Morgan). For others that might mean a full ride scholarship to Yale (cough!…Palm Oil).
Once you’ve dropped under that bar and locked it out (hopefully…) stand up with the bar by taking a half step up and back with the lead leg and a half step up and forward with the trail leg. Demonstrate control with the barbell over your head and then drop and roar like a bear…if it is a PR. Not sure why you’d want to unleash a bear roar after a warmup set…
How would you help these athletes improve their jerks?
Compare these to the big boys and gals! Fast forward to 2:24 and then enjoy!
So that’s today’s lesson on the split jerk, boys and girls. The conditioning WOD was more on the muscular endurance side given that the last two days have been more cardiovascularly taxing. Four rounds of three body-weight movements, two of which I hate: HSPUs and Pushups. Yuck.
For many of you this is your third workout this week! I’m diggin’ the commitment, but if this was your third workout, take tomorrow and rest up! See most of you on Monday!
P.S. Never call that boy an amateur…
4 Rounds for Time
10 Kipping Pullups (from rings when band assistance is required.)
Supplemental “Chassis” Work
For anyone with extra time, there will be, on occasion, an opportunity for some supplementary work that targets core strength or technical proficiency. Below was today’s work:
3 Rounds of ME Ring Pushups