Nichole Coaching the Jerk

The Why, When & How of the Jerk Balance
Written by Nichole DeHart-Kribs

We recently discussed common faults seen when athletes jerk. One of the drills briefly touched on in the article was the jerk balance. This drill, when done correctly, can greatly improve an athlete’s relationship with the jerk. An athlete can go from viewing the jerk like they view an ex to loving it like they do a soul mate … or Ryan Gosling. Find out how to shift the view of your relationship with the jerk by incorporating this helpful drill.


The jerk balance is an important drill to incorporate in an athlete’s technique priming session. There are lots of bad habits seen when athletes jerk – like loading the front foot too much, leaving their hips behind in a jerk and improper weight distribution between the front and back leg. The jerk balance can help correct these bad habits.


It is best to incorporate this drill into a warm-up session or technique priming session before jerking. Add 3-4 sets of jerk balance with sub-max load to prime proper movement patterns and to reinforce good positioning before you start jerking with heavier loads.


Follow the instructions below to ensure this drill is done correctly:

Step 1 – Mark out your jerk footwork based on this drill by Coach Burgener.

Step 2 – Set your back foot into its receiving position. Make sure the back knee is slightly bent and the heel is off the ground.

Hunter Jerk Balance Set Up

Step 3 – Dip and drive with a vertical torso.

Hunter Jerk Balance Dip

Step 4 – Drive the body through the barbell into the landing position.

Hunter Jerk Balance Finish Position

In the landing position, note an even weight distribution with the hips under the shoulders. The back knee should be slightly bent and the front knee vertical or slightly angled back. If you have a hard time feeling balanced then hold the position for 3-5 seconds to make any adjustments and feel the correct landing position.

Try incorporating this drill more regularly into your training and watch the consistency of your jerk skyrocket.

Also Check Out…

How to Perfect Your Jerk
Sticky Fingers – How to Transition from the Clean to the Jerk
Better Accessories for Your Jerk

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