WATCH: Learning the Strongman Jerk

TAGS: jerk rebound, strongman jerk, knees out, House of Biceps, leg drive, push press, clint darden, medicine ball, strongman

One of the best parts of working with Clint Darden as your coach is the personalized advice and demonstration he sends via video. When his clients struggle with part of their training or need help understanding a cue, Clint doesn't just send an email with advice — he films a video showing exactly what they need to work on or adds commentary to client training videos to point out each area for improvement. In the past, we've shared videos like this of Clint coaching or reviewing the sumo deadlift, various strongman events, and the bench press. In this video, he breaks down the strongman jerk and shows how best to hone-in technique.

Clint first demonstrates the main idea: a failed jerk turns into a push press and this is something you have to avoid. To begin, focus on sticking your chest out as much as possible and getting the elbows in front of the bar. Then you can think about your legs. If you're going to use leg drive, you don't want your legs to go forward — you want them to go out. The push press and the overhead press should not hurt your knees, and if they do, that's an indicator your knees are going excessively forward. The other thing to avoid is a slow dip. You want to drop quickly and reverse direction with a short dip, keeping your weight on your knees rather than over your toes. Knees go out, chest goes up, and then you drive from that position.

Clint then demonstrates the push press. The push press should involve no shoulders until the bar is level with your head. You should extend your lower body and the bar should be nearly over your head before you have to use shoulders and triceps. If you're trying to press the weight with your upper body through the whole movement, you aren't correctly using your lower body.

He then shows an exercise to use to help the learning process for the jerk. Learning the jerk is all about getting the reps, trusting your technique, and not being afraid to miss reps. You will miss reps, and that's perfectly fine. To work on this, take a medicine ball — the bigger the better. Use this medicine ball to work on the concepts of chest up, knees out, and falling under without pressing. Leg drive, up, and catch. This will help you learn the movement patterns you need on the jerk. The heavier the medicine ball gets, the more leg drive you're going to have to use, the more you're going to have to split, and the faster you're going to have to do it. So start with the medicine ball, focusing on these things.

WATCH: Sumo Deadlift Technique for CrossFit Competitors and Weightlifters

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