Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeOlympic Weightlifting
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Power Jerk Overview

The power jerk is a variation of the jerk balance and an exercise typically performed in Olympic style weightlifting facilities.

The power jerk is a pushing movement pattern that works both the pushing muscles of the lower body (quads) and upper body (shoulders and triceps)

Olympic lifts, such as the power jerk, are very technically demanding and require a lot of practice prior to performing with any sort of significant weight.

Power Jerk Instructions

  1. Setup with the bar at chest height.
  2. Rotate the elbows around the bar and maintain a front rack position as you unrack the bar and take two steps back.
  3. Dip slightly at the knees and then explode straight up as you press the bar overhead.
  4. As the bar is still moving overhead, drop underneath and catch the bar in a quarter squat position.
  5. Stand up by extending the knees and hips.
  6. If not completing any further repetitions, drop the bar from overhead in a somewhat controlled fashion.

Power Jerk Tips

  1. Olympic lifting is about efficiency, not just brute strength.
  2. This is also commonly referred to as the “push jerk”.
  3. With most jerks you will want to just drop them from overhead given it would require quite a bit of work to lower them back to the floor under control. Not to mention, when the weight gets heavy this could present a further injury risk to an already complicated lift.
  4. With the jerk, smaller athletes may need to keep the elbows up during the dip prior to the jerk as the bar may have a tendency to slide forward off their shoulders due to the smaller size of the musculature.