Exercise Library
Snatch Power Jerk

AKA Snatch power jerk behind the neck, snatch-grip power jerk
The snatch power jerk is a simple variation of the power jerk that can serve a few purposes in training.
Secure the bar behind the neck as you would for a back squat with your hands in your snatch-width grip, the feet at approximately hip-width and the toes turned out slightly. If you hold the hook grip overhead in the snatch, you should also use the hook grip here. Keep the weight balanced on the heels while maintaining full foot contact with the floor. Bend slightly at the knees only, keeping the trunk vertical and the weight on the heels. Transition immediately at the bottom of this dip and drive aggressively with the legs against the floor to accelerate the barbell upward. As you finish the extension of the legs, begin pushing against the bar with the arms, quickly lifting the feet and transitioning them into your squat stance, punching the arms into a locked-out overhead position as you sit into a partial squat. Secure and stabilize the bar overhead before recovering into a standing position with the bar still overhead. The thighs must remain above horizontal in the squat for the lift to qualify as a power jerk.
Any snatch pressing or jerking exercise is normally started behind the neck, so it’s usually unnecessary to specify behind the neck when prescribing such lifts.
Because the bar and the trunk begin in the same place and orientation respectively that they should be in when the bar is overhead, the bar path should be perfectly vertical and the trunk should remain in the same orientation (inclined forward very slightly). Be cautious not to hinge at the hips when dipping.
The snatch power jerk is primarily used as a way to get the bar into place overhead in preparation for overhead squats, but it can also be used to train and strengthen the proper overhead position for the snatch.
If being used to secure a bar overhead for a subsequent overhead squat, the snatch power jerk will just be a single. If using it to strengthen the snatch overhead position, sets of 3-5 reps are suggested with weights starting around from 70% of the lifter’s best snatch or overhead squat. Generally this exercise should be performed following any snatch variants and possibly before clean variants depending on what the intended emphasis of the workout is.
The snatch power jerk can be performed without the feet leaving the floor, in which case it becomes a snatch push jerk.

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Chris Murray
July 8 2021
This website is excellent and the exercise guides are very helpful, so apologies if this is a daft question: but would a reasonable alternative be split jerking into the OHS, thereby training splitting footwork, proper dip and leg drive etc. while also strengthening the snatch overhead position? Would the similarity/carryover be sufficient to actually improve one’s standard split jerk? Thanks a lot.
Yes as long as the dip/drive/split were all done correctly, it would be perfectly good training for the jerk.

Greg Everett