Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting

Should You Alternate Legs In The Split Jerk?

Should weightlifters alternate legs in the split jerk?


A weightlifter alternating legs in the jerk is analogous to a pitcher alternating arms, or a guitar player switching hands.

The jerk is a skilled movement, and maximal skill development demands focused work.

Will you develop muscular imbalances by only jerking one way? Yes, probably.

But imbalances will be minor, and more importantly, they should be addressed through non-skilled work like unilateral strength exercises, not the competition lift.

Lunges, step-ups, split squats, and single leg RDLs, good mornings and glute bridges will all be far more effective at creating and preserving balance, and will do so without interfering with your competition lift skill development.

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