Breaking Down the Jerk

The kettlebell jerk is the big daddy of the kettlebell ballistics.

A cross between the squat and push press, it's a full body power move that links the lower and upper body together and lets you throw around some serious weight.

Like the push press, the jerk allows you to get a heavy bell overhead utilizing leg drive.

The big difference between the push press and the jerk is a second dip; in the push press you dip and drive, with the jerk you dip, drive and dip.

This second dip allows you to use a heavier bell than you can with the push press.

A heavier bell means you build more strength, muscle and power while torching body fat at a faster pace.

That's why the jerk is the big daddy of the kettlebell lifts, when done correctly it packs a punch.

One quick thing before you start training the jerk though...

Because of the catch position, the jerk requires a lot of shoulder and thoracic spine mobility.

If you have any shoulder issues or lack adequate mobility, put off training the jerk and work on improving your mobility first.

The Jerk

  • 1
    Clean a kettlebell into the rack position - your wrist should be neutral, legs locked out, glutes squeezed, abs braced and your shoulders pulled down.
  • 2
    Keeping your torso upright, dip into a quarter squat and quickly stand up, using leg drive to get the bell started upward.
  • 3
    As the bell passes eye level, dip back down under the kettlebell to lock it out.
  • 4
    Catch the bell in a quarter squat and stand upright to lockout.
  • 5
    At lockout, your upper arm should be behind your ear, legs locked out, glutes squeezed and your abs braced.
  • 6

    Let the bell drop back down into the rack, bending your legs to absorb the bell as it lands in the rack.

The kettlebell jerk is a great lift, but it needs to be respected if you want to train injury free.

Before you start training the jerk, you should be strong and comfortable with the squat and the push press, and make sure you have adequate shoulder and thoracic spine mobility.

Once you check those boxes, grab a heavy bell and practice your Dip, Drive and Dip.

In Strength and Health,