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The Foundational Movements of CrossFit: The push jerk

what is the push jerk?

The push jerk is the best way to max out on weight you can get overhead. Generally you should be able to lift about 25% more than your max push press. Because, you are using the momentum from your hips to jump the bar up and while dropping under to catch the bar. Again, this is a compound movement that works the whole body and requires all muscles to be engaged in order to balance that weight overhead. The push jerk is a great movement for building coordination and core stability in the overhead position.

how to push jerk

The push jerk set up is identical to the push press. Feet at hip width, full grip on the bar, and the bar resting on your shoulders. You will dip softening your knees and keeping your torso upright; then exploding up and jumping ensuring full hip extension. The catch is slightly different because you should catch in a partial squat with your knees bent. Your elbows should be locked out overhead and then you slowly stand from the catch position to complete the movement.

common mistakes

Often times people will forget to keep the core engaged and pelvis tucked in during the dip and catch. This leads to extra stress in the lower back because of a weak posterior chain.

Many people also end up having to press the bar the last few inches overhead, because they are not aggressive enough in their dip and drive. This could be because of a “muted hip”. That just means not fully jumping, opening up the hip, and using all the momentum from the lower body to get the bar overhead. When you catch the bar overhead your elbows should be locked out without having to any extra static pressing.

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