Purpose: The Split Jerk is an explosive movement, meaning the athlete's intent is to move the bar as fast as possible. The lift's purpose is to synergistically recruit and fire several large muscle groups in unison to produce a summation of forces and thus move the load overhead with power. The Split Jerk's purpose is to develop explosive power through the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows.
Using either a power rack (full rack or half rack) or a squat rack, position an empty bar at your mid to upper chest height. There should only be a 2-3 inch lift to get the bar off the rack, and you should never have to go up on your toes to get the bar off the rack, nor should you have to drop below a short quarter squat to unrack the bar. If a rack is not available you could power clean the bar up to shoulder level to begin the lift, and/or it can be utilized as part of a combo lift with the power clean.
First teach the athlete how to properly execute a military press before teaching the push press. The athlete must have a good understanding of how to get the bar overhead safely before increasing the bar speed.
Second, after the military press, teach the athlete how to properly execute a push press before teaching the push jerk. The athlete must have a grasp of how to safely accelerate the bar overhead with power before going on to the push jerk.
Last, teach the athlete how to properly execute a push jerk before progressing on to the more advanced split jerk.
Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width, with your feet positioned directly under your hips.
Position the bar across your shoulders with your elbows pulled up in front of the bar.
Tuck in your chin, hold your chest up, and keep a tight arch in your back.
Begin by quickly dipping down to a 1/4 squat position and then explosively reverse your movement and drive upward so that your hips and knees fully extend.
As the energy of your movement travels up and the momentum of the bar moves upward push with your arms and press the weight over head.
As the momentum of the bar moves upward, split your legs apart and drop underneath the bar, you move downward as the bar is moving upward catching and pressing the weight directly over your head.
Holding the weight locked out overhead, stand up fully under control by bringing your back foot forward first then your front foot back slightly.
Recover by lowering the weight back to the starting position.
This exercise is performed in a very quick and explosive manner, think of "jumping" into your split. Explode the bar off your shoulders and drop under it as fast as possible.
Your shoulders and triceps should be used to press the weight out at the top of this exercise while your lowerbody simultaneously split squats to drop under it.
Make sure to pull your chin back to begin the lift and then again as you lower the weight. This will help avoid hitting yourself with the bar and help keep the bar on a vertical path.
Split of legs: Front knee at 45°-90° with weight distributed across your entire foot, back knee slightly bent with weight on the ball of your foot.
Image From "Speed-Strength Training For Football," E.J. "Doc" Kreis. pg 47
Coaching Cue Words:
DIP - DRIVE - SPLIT & PRESS! or DIP - JUMP SPLIT - DROP & PRESS!
Produced by Master Strength & Conditioning Coach, Greg Werner from James Madison University
Athlete in the video is Strength & Conditioning Assistant, Phillip Brown, spotted by Senior Assistant, Callye Williams