Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting


Jerk Dip & Drive Technical Styles - Strength Vs. Elastic

There are two broad categories of dip & drive styles: strength and elastic. These are really the two ends of a spectrum; a lifter may fall between the two rather than exhibiting one or the other dramatically.
 
The strength jerk relies more on absolute strength to accelerate the bar. This requires a deeper dip to allow a longer drive to put enough force into the bar to achieve adequate speed.
 
The movement will be slower, including the braking effort at the bottom, and these athletes will have to wait longer to begin pushing with the arms, when the bar reaches its maximal speed at about full leg extension.
 
The elastic jerk relies more on the elasticity of the body and the barbell. This means a shallower dip, a quicker stop and change of direction in the bottom, and a faster drive, gaining more force from the body’s stretch-shortening reflex.
 
These athletes need less time to apply force to the bar, and will need to begin pushing with the arms sooner in the drive, when the bar reaches its maximal speed prior to full leg extension. Note that this style is increasingly effective as weights increase to create more whip of the bar.


Naturally explosive athletes who obviously lift quickly and can snatch and clean & jerk a large percentage of their best squats tend to be better suited to the elastic jerk style.
 
Slower lifters who snatch and clean & jerk smaller percentages of their best squats will tend to be better suited for the strength style.
 
In some cases, slower lifters happen to have extremely strong dip platforms and great timing that allows them to exploit elasticity, particularly of the barbell, to a degree you wouldn’t expect from their other lifts. This is why it’s always a good idea to experiment with varying the depth and speed of the dip to find what is most effective for you.

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