Overhead Split Squat
The overhead split squat is a helpful exercise for strengthening the receiving position of the split jerk that addresses both leg strength and overhead positioning.
Secure the barbell in the overhead position with your jerk grip. Step into a lunge stance long enough that your front shin will remain approximately vertical when you’re in the bottom of the movement and keep your weight balanced evenly between the front and back feet. With a controlled speed, lower yourself with an upright trunk until the rear knee lightly contacts the floor (don’t let it hit the floor or rest on the floor), then stand again maintaining the balance between the feet. Maintain the position of the front knee over the foot—don’t let it collapse inward or push it excessively outward. Perform the total number of reps on one leg before switching to the other leg.
The length of the split can be adjusted to obtain somewhat different effects. The farther forward the front foot, the more the exercise will rely on the posterior chain and stretch the rear hip flexors; the farther back the front foot, the more the exercise will rely on the quads. However, if using the exercise specifically to strengthen the receiving position of the split jerk, the stance should be identical to that position.
Like the split squat, the overhead split squat is strengthens the legs, hips and trunk for the split receiving position of the split jerk, but it also adds some upper body strengthening and position awareness.
Sets of 3-6 reps are usually appropriate with weight that allows a smooth movement and no crashing into the bottom position, as well as a fully locked overhead position throughout the set.
The overhead split squat can be performed to maximal depth (i.e. the rear knee as close to the floor as possible), or just to the lifter’s normal split jerk receiving depth.