Jerk Rhythm Dips
Jerk rhythm dips are a way to improve multiple aspects of the jerk dip and drive with a single simple exercise that helps get the conscious brain out of the way and break bad habits.
Stand with the bar in the jerk rack position and prepare for a jerk by getting a breath and bracing the trunk. Perform 3 dips at a quick, consistent rhythm, focusing on remaining as tight as possible, balanced, and rebounding elastically from the bottom. After the third dip, immediately perform a complete jerk without hesitating—that is, continue into the jerk with the exact same rhythm you used in the preceding dips.
Avoid the temptation to load this exercise so heavily that you change the depth, position and tempo of the dip—it’s only effective if the movement is correct, and we’re looking for tight, springy dips. It’s also critical you don’t pause between the series of dips and the jerk—most of the effectiveness comes come an uninterrupted sequence because you don’t have time to think and change the motion for the jerk back to your old habits.
Jerk rhythm dips are a simple way to address multiple aspects of the dip and drive of the jerk. It helps train and reinforce an optimal dip depth and speed, helps improve the timing and use of elasticity out of the bottom of the dip, and helps reinforce a vertical dip and drive—often lost in a split jerk when lifters lean forward into the split.
Rhythm dips can be done as a standalone exercise, but are best used as part of the warm-up for a jerk or clean & jerk session. That is, the rhythm dips can be added to the warm-up sets of these exercises as you move toward your working weights. This makes it efficient by preventing a need for additional exercises, but also makes it more effective because the improvements are transferred better to the regular jerks that follow.
Use sets of 3 dips + 1 or more jerks. 3 is enough to get a feel for the rhythm (really it becomes 4 because of the jerk at the end), but not so much that it’s excessively fatiguing to prevent proper performance of the jerk.