Exercise Library

Banded Jerk Drive

The banded jerk drive simply adds elastic band resistance to the jerk drive exercise.
Using jerk blocks, run bands over the bar—how exactly this is done will vary with your jerk blocks, but be sure the bands are even and over the bar in a way that will prevent them from sliding off during the exercise.
Place the bar in the jerk rack position with your feet in the same stance you use to jerk. Dip and drive just as you do for the jerk, and push the bar up off the shoulders with the arms as high as you can after completing the leg drive (this will be a very limited height with the combination of weight and band tension). Be sure to pull your head back out of the way just as you would in the jerk to ensure the bar moves up rather than forward. Absorb the weight back onto the shoulders with the legs, and reset in the standing position for the next rep.
This exercise is often very difficult to perform correctly—many athletes will push the bar forward off of the shoulders, which makes it ineffective and even counterproductive. If the athlete can’t perform it correctly, use a different exercise such as a jerk dip squat.
Use light bands. The resistance should come primarily from the weight on the bar, with the bands used primarily to minimize bar elevation off the shoulders.
The jerk drive strengthens the dip position and trains the explosiveness of the transition and upward drive with heavier weights than can be handled for the same number of reps or with the same frequency as the jerk itself. If done correctly, it can also train and reinforce the proper balance and dip position for the jerk and strengthen the posture.
The addition of bands helps mitigate the biggest problem with the jerk drive—athletes pushing the bar forward, or being able to push it so high that it crashes too hard back down for them to handle, or ends up moving forward later in the movement. The band tension will also encourage a longer and more forceful leg drive to help combat the tendency of many lifters to stop pushing with the legs too early in the jerk.
The banded jerk drive can be performed for 3-5 reps with weights at anywhere from 70%-100% or more of the lifter’s best jerk. Weights can be very heavy as long as the position and balance are correct and the bar is pushed up rather than forward. Weights should not exceed what the lifter can actually drive up off the shoulders. Keep band tension relatively light to minimize the reduction of bar speed at the top.
There are many variations of the jerk drive that are considered distinct exercises (see below).

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