EDITOR'S NOTE: Check here every Wednesday for a new coaching video from Bob Takano. Learn how to be a better lifter and a better Olympic lifting coach from one of the best.

 

I was sorting out my videos recently and came across this video that I shot at the 2011 Nationals. It is 53kg lifter Hilary Katzenmeier jerking 97kg, the highest lift in the class. I immediately noticed a common technical error that could easily be corrected and would result in a much more secure jerk than the borderline lift in this clip.

 

Like many lifters, Hilary begins the dip for the jerk with her knees locked. When the jerk dip is initiated in this way, the first joint to bend is at the hips. Now the torso is inclined slightly forward and it is difficult to generate a powerful drive with the legs. When the bar is not driven with enough speed, the arms begin to push prematurely and the result is that the lifter is pushed back away from the bar as soon as the feet leave the floor. The bar ends up slightly in front of the optimal point, or rather the lifter finishes up behind the vertical pathway of the bar. Fortunately for Hilary, it was not so far out of position that the lift could not be saved.

 

If you find yourself missing jerks in front frequently check to see whether or not you are initiating the dip with your knees unlocked. This will allow for a vertical dip and a more powerful drive.

Topic:  Olympic Weightlifting