Helpful Exercise: On Toe Split and Recovery

Split Jerk

I can’t tell you how many times I have left jerks out front after a PR clean.  In fact many of those jerks haunt my dreams.  Here’s a couple that constantly replay over and over in my head.

3rd Attempt Bomb Out USAW/Crossfit Open

3rd Attempt Miss at 2011 Nationals

And then there’s the infamous 3rd attempt Bomb at 2012 Nationals last year.  There is no video evidence of that miss…and that’s probably for the better.  Bottomline, I miss A LOT of jerks.  I miss jerks for a couple of reasons.

  1. I literally drive the bar forward and in so doing push my body, hips, and shoulders backwards away from the bar.
  2. I don’t step into the weight with my front foot and this leaves the bar in front of my hips.
  3. I kick my back foot too far backwards and by doing so I tilt my pelvis forward pushing the bar forward.

Sarabeth Phillips ran into this problem this week.  Below are two videos of a successful lift and a missed PR attempt.

Sarabeth Phillips 215# Jerk

Sarabeth Phillips 225# Jerk

On both lifts you’ll notice that she struggles getting her head through the bar and thus puts a lot of stress on her deltoids.  This prevents overhead stability because the weight of the bar can’t get over the traps.  The traps and rhomboids stabilize the barbell and work to hold the bar overhead.  We are working on helping her get her hips and head through the bar.

One exercise I like to use to help this is called the On Toe Split and Recovery.  If you struggle with some of these same problems, this exercise might helpful.  It has certainly been helpful for me.

On Toe Split and Recovery Demo Video

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5 responses to “Helpful Exercise: On Toe Split and Recovery

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