Use more of the lower leg, developing power in the calves and increasing stability of the ankle joint. Before attempting the jerk, you should master the overhead press and push pres s. This will give you the opportunity to get the bell path perfect, practice the dip in a simpler lift and to teach your body how to fixate the kettle bell properly — all of which are essential for safe jerk technique.
Ankle mobility is important to allow you to get into the first dip with your heels on the ground — this should be tested before doing the push press. If you can’t get to a quarter squat position with perfectly vertical arms then you have some mobility work to do before attempting the jerk.
It is important that you keep your toes on the ground in the bump and don’t completely leave the floor or change stance as you would with Olympic lifting. Remember that the kettle bell isn’t well suited to one rep max work — for higher rep work it’s going to benefit you to keep your toes locked on the floor and keep the same stance, jumping around not only wastes energy but because of the odd shape of the kettle bell it will destabilize you.
The idea is to get the kettle bell as high as you possibly can with your legs and no input from your upper body, which means you will not get to the point where you’re locking out your arm (if you do, you’re just doing a push press). You want to be very sure you understand the rack to overhead lockout path from your overhead press and push press work so that once the kettle bell gets as high as your legs can get it you simply let gravity take over and it’ll drop back to rack — your forearm should be vertical throughout the movement, any tilting forward or sideways is dangerous.
Once you’re very comfortable with the bump it’s time to add in the next phase of the jerk, which is dropping underneath the kettle bell (also known as the second dip). Your legs are stronger and will take longer to fatigue than your arms and this is why the jerk is a more powerful lift than the push press.
When you drop underneath the kettle bell you finish in the quarter overhead squat position, with your arm locked out vertically. This is the point at which fixation should begin, you should stop the kettle bell as soon as your heels hit the ground and your arm locks out.
As with the push press, your ability to stop the kettle bell is partly dependent on having the handle in the correct position on your hand so that it is locked in on your forearm and doesn’t have a free end that can jump around. So, it’s a good idea to practice the sequence of movements from rack to the second dip without a kettle bell until you feel comfortable with it, then add the bell in.
The “ceiling drill” can help cue you in to drop at the correct time: get someone to hold their hand about 15 cm above your head and go through the dip and bump, as soon as your hand hits theirs in the bump that’s your cue to drop into a quarter squat and lock out your arm. A lot of people try to drop the kettle bell back to rack as they stand up from the second dip, which robs them of many of the benefits of the lift such as building supreme shoulder stability and means fixation isn’t completed.
In order to be able to finish the upward phase by simply standing up you want to make sure you get your arm into exactly the right position for overhead lockout in the second dip. It’s very common for people to have their arm forward, in the second dip and then get it into a vertical position as they stand up, which is less than ideal in terms of stability and shoulder fatigue.
Ideally, in order to further reduce the demands on the shoulder, you want to eliminate any eccentric contraction by letting the bell fall back to rack position — a controlled drop. Start by lowering the kettle bell slowly to make sure you know exactly where it should be going and can get it directly back to rack without and forwards or sideways detours.
As you get more advanced, you can come up onto your toes to meet the kettle bell as it’s dropping (thereby reducing the distance it has to travel before reaching your body and further taking the load off your shoulder), absorbing the shock with your legs, then re-setting your rack position. Don’t come up onto your toes too early, wait till the kettle bell has dropped about a third of the distance before going up to meet it.
As with the push press, breathing for the jerk is dictated by the need to maintain an elbow-body connection in the first dip in order to be able to effectively use the lower body to power the lift and the need to relax at the appropriate time to be able to generate more speed (more speed basically equals more power). Fixation should begin at the second dip, this is the point where you really want to focus on stopping the bell — this is essential for safe lifting.
It is important that the elbow maintains contact with the body during the first bump to ensure efficient power transfer from the legs into the bell. One of the most common mistakes people make with the kettle bell jerk is losing that elbow body connection in the first dip through a break in the hips and incorrect breathing patterns.
It’s great for developing power endurance in the legs, stability in the shoulders and when done at a decent pace has an intense effect on the cardiorespiratory system. This means the jerk is great as a supplement for many athletic pursuits, especially when it is balanced out with a clean in long cycle or with swing or snatch training.
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.
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.
However, nuances of an individuals rack position will differ depending on body type. 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. 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.
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.
“Posing” — slow transition from the Under squat to lockout which fatigues legs and arms. Kettle bells are used for the clean, the clean would be different when using a barbell or dumbbells, otherwise, the movement for the press, push press, or jerk would remain the same.
In a push press, the first part of the movement is performed by bending the knees and pulling them back to create momentum and follow through with the press. So, first the weight is pushed up with the lower body and then the press is what follows through.
The first part of the jerk is a push press and then followed through by a dip under, pushing yourself away and coming under the weight, catching it with locked out arms overhead and then standing up. Taco Fleur Russian Gregory Sport Institute Kettle bell Coach, Caveman training Certified, IFF Certified Kettle bell Teacher, Kettle bell Sport Rank 2, HardstyleFit Kettle bell Level 1 Instructor., CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Judges Certificate, CrossFit Lesson Planning Certificate, Kettle bells Level 2 Trainer, Kettle bell Science and Application, MMA Fitness Level 2, MMA Conditioning Level 1, BJJ Purple Belt and more.