Olympic Weightlifting Encyclopedia 58

The Recovery from the Low Position in the Split Jerk

The Recovery from the Low Position in the Split Jerk

The recovery of the lifter from the low split position in the jerk is similar to the process described for the recovery from the low split position in the snatch described earlier; the lifter straightens the front leg while shifting the hips, torso and bar toward the back leg (i.e., the lifter is pushing back as well as up with the front leg). At the end of this motion, when the body has risen nearly as high as possible without moving the feet, the lifter (with the weight shifted toward the rear leg) slides or slightly lifts the front foot back to a position approximating its starting position. The back foot is then brought forward to a position in line with the front foot.

The Power Style of Jerking

The power style of jerking involves lowering the body into a partial squat during the fifth and sixth stages of the jerk (usually accompanied by a small sideways jump of the feet as well). While the split style in the jerk is acknowledged as offering the lifter greater stability and capacity to lower the body in the jerk than does a half squat, users of the power style of jerking have appeared periodically on the international platform over the past several decades. Paul Anderson used a modified push jerk during the 1950s. He merely drove the bar with his legs and then pressed it up quickly with his arms the rest of the way, never bothering to rebend his legs (today the technical rules are interpreted in such a way that a second bend of the legs is required). A. Nemessanyi, an Olympic medalist in the 1960s, V. Sots, a Soviet World Champion and world record holder in the C&J in the early 1980s, and two time Olympic Champions (both in 1992 and 1996) P. Dimas and A. Kakhiashvilis are among the most famous practitioners of the true power jerk style. Figure 10 illustrates the power jerk style as performed by Kakhiashvilis.

In analyzing V. Sots’ technique in the power jerk, the Soviets found that he had a shorter braking phase in the dip, did not bend his knees as much as is normal in the dip and drove the bar a little longer as well. The bar dropped approximately 5 cm when Sots caught it in the half squat. Sots claimed to be better in the power jerk than the split jerk, hence his use of this style in competition. Since the sample of lifters doing the power style jerk in competition is so small, it is not possible to tell whether Sots’ technique is typical of an athlete who would find the power jerk more effective or whether it is peculiar to Sots.

One of the most consistent characteristics of the successful power jerker is shoulder mobility sufficient to permit the athlete to incline the torso forward and lower the hips to a receiving position that requires the power jerker to lift the bar no higher that the typical split jerker

While practicing the power jerk can develop the jerking power of most lifters, it can obviously be used by some lifters as their primary style of jerking. The fledgling lifter would be wise to remember the technical advantages of the split jerk and to master it. The lifters who use the power style successfully will continue to impress audiences with their superior strength. However, most audiences and competitors will be far more impressed by superior ability in the jerk, not by whether a lifter uses the power jerk style or the split style (and the official records of the competition do not indicate which style was used).

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