How To Kettlebell Jerk

Bob Roberts
• Thursday, 31 December, 2020
• 8 min read

The Kettle bell Jerk is an excellent full body exercise that requires a high degree of coordination, timing, and the ability to generate maximum power in a short range of motion. Although it can be used for developing maximal strength, this movement is best suited for “work capacity,” or the ability to be strong, fast, and explosive over longer durations.

jerk kettlebell clean double training long cycle movements skillet ironbodybyartemis jerks train favorite
(Source: ironbodybyartemis.com)


In competition, athletes lift for five or ten minute sets for as much reps as possible with technical proficiency without putting the kdettlebells down. Ideally, the elbows are resting directly on the hips (Iliad crests), knees are locked, pelvis is forward, torso deflected back, and the thoracic spine is curved.

Two important points here are to first, “drop/fall” into the Half Squat to activate a stretch reflex instead of descending slowly. This involves what is termed a “quadruple extension.” The ankles, knees, hip, and torso all extend during this movement.

The degree of energy a competitor puts into this part of the movement is dependent on their body type, athletic attributes, etc. To maximize efficiency, the arms are locked by dropping into a squatting posture instead of pressing up.

Lighter competitors, whose primary advantage is speed, may tend to use a shallow Under squat. The key is to pick a movement strategy that conserves energy and keeps the heart rate low.

In addition, the anterior pelvic tilt this mechanic creates relaxes the quadriceps. The triceps are turned “off” and the bells are lowered to the rack position via a controlled drop.

kettlebell clean press jerk benefits arm single push exercise workout exercises overhead kettlebells techniques crossfit training fitness position
(Source: weighteasyloss.com)

As the elbows begin to land in the rack position, the heels are lowered and the thoracic spine rounded to safely diffuse the load. The key is timing the bell to body contact with the shock absorption mechanics.

If a deep Under squat is used, then exhale upon landing into the Under squat, inhale during the stand to lockout; perform an additional breathing cycle in the top position, inhale at the beginning of the drop, and finally exhale as the elbows make contact into the rack. Descending too slowly when dropping into the Half Squat which negates the desired stretch reflex.

The key to success at a ten-minute competition set in kettle bell sport is to develop an excellent jerk technique. Most newbie kettle bell sport lifters approach this lift by “muscling” the bells overhead, using the legs too little and the arms and shoulders too much.

This power must be combined with the skill of quickly relaxing the entire body to drop and catch the kettle bells overhead. Let’s take a closer look at the five key stages of the kettlebelljerk and how to refine your technique in each part of the lift.

To begin the jerk, a good rack position with the elbows resting on the Iliad crests is vital. Continue to dig the elbows deep into the hips, or at least into the abdominal area, as the knees bend for the first dip.

jerk clean kettlebell technique
(Source: www.youtube.com)

In the first dip of the jerk, the lifter must let the knees bend slightly in a crisp movement whilst making sure the elbows stay in contact with the hips. The lifter should squat under them, quickly relax the legs, send the hips back, and extend the elbows.

To successfully achieve the second dip, it is important that the lifter is lighting fast in switching his or her attention from driving upwards to “sitting” under the bells. Fixation is achieved when the kettle bells and the lifter’s body have stopped moving and there is a brief pause in the overhead position.

The athlete should then relax the arms and let the kettle bells drop freely, moving the head back slightly, catching the bells with the body, and absorbing the shock with the knees. If you watch an experienced lifter perform the jerk, you will see a noticeable wobble of the quads as they relax when the fixation overhead is reached.

To repeat high and heavy reps in kettle bell sport competition, understanding the correct breathing pattern in the jerk is vital. Correct breathing technique helps keep the mental panic at bay during arduous sets.

Holding the breath will cause uncontrolled rises in heart rate and blood pressure and will prematurely fatigue the lifter. There will either be no pause between lifts and once fixation is achieved the lifter can let the bells drop and exhale; or there will be a pause in the locked out overhead position, in which case the lifter will need to keep breathing with the bells held overhead before dropping them to start again.

kettlebell jerk arm press single routines floor bi push weight
(Source: functionalalexch.blogspot.com)

Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos. How-to Images View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

Dip your body by bending the knees, keeping your torso upright. Immediately reverse direction, driving through the heels, in essence jumping to create momentum.

As you do so, press the kettle bells overhead to lockout by extending the arms, using your body's momentum to move the weights. Keeping the weights overhead, return to a standing position, bringing your feet together.

If the correct technique is followed, the following muscle groups work: Shoulders, and auxiliary muscles: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Glutes, Traps The number of repetitions and working weight depends on your goal and other parameters.

The possibility of replacement is determined on the basis of the muscle groups involved. Learn how to exercise with the double kettlebelljerk as demonstrated in this fitness video.

kettlebell jerk double form dip extension onnit glance squat crossfit wod academy i35 dragon crossfiti35
(Source: www.onnit.com)

Other Muscle Groups Worked in This Exercise: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Abdominal Stand upright to finish the jerk and repeat.

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Muscles Worked: Arms, Shoulders, legs Difficulty: Hard Equipment needed: Kettle bells Hold two kettle bells in line with your shoulders with palms facing each other.

Jump into a lunge, driving one leg back, and extending your arms straight above your head. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.

In the Olympic clean and jerk, the athlete makes three attempts to lift a maximal load overhead in a two-part movement. Kettle bell clean and jerk is a very different animal, but the real basis of the movement is the same.

(Source: www.girodmedical.es)

It’s about the movement pattern that allows the most efficient transition of the load from the floor to overhead. Barbell clean and jerk begins when the athlete performs a full clean, moving the bar from the floor to the bottom position of the front squat by catching the bar in the ‘racked’ position.

Finally, the athlete stands up fully, feet together, knees and elbows locked. The proof of the pudding is in the eating: Only lifters are some of the world’s strongest and most explosive athletes.

What it has in common with the Only clean and jerk is the basic pattern of movement, and the idea that this will be your strongest overhead lift. Shorten the arc of the swing to clean the bell to the chest and set; make sure you’re strong and firm.

Finally, catch the bell overhead, as you resume a fully upright posture. For most of us who have some familiarity with kettle bells, the jerk phase is the one where we’re going to need some extra instruction here, while for beginners, I’d stick with cleans and presses separately.

When your clean is smooth, the bell should land in the racked position without any apparent force; there shouldn’t be a bump of any kind. The first stage is the drive, pushing the bell to about head height by straightening the lower body.

jerk clean kettlebell exercise
(Source: www.youtube.com)

You get here by driving the body upward by extending the hips slightly, and standing up on the balls of the feet. That means bending the legs sharply, while keeping the back straight.

You’re in a quarter squat at this point; standing up fully erect completes the rep. Wrap your scapula and keep a solid core. Keep a tall neck, packed and neutral, and a straight back throughout.

The Kettle bell version of the heaviest Olympic lift, the clean and jerk allows you to build strength, explosiveness and endurance all at once.

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1 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-is-the-best-kettlebell-weight-to-start-with/
2 www.simplefitnesshub.com - https://www.simplefitnesshub.com/what-kettlebell-weight-woman-use/
3 myomyfitness.com - https://myomyfitness.com/a-guide-to-your-first-kettlebell-what-weight-what-style/