It’s vacation season here in AZ so attendance has been a little low since the fourth. With that I’ve been able to get some small groups which I really enjoy, today at 7am (which is normally a smaller group compared to our 5am and 6am) I had Rico show up solo. Today we were teaching and training the split jerk. Since we opened two months ago we’ve only focused on more fundamental overheads (press, push press, and push jerk).

image

Rico had done the split jerk before and I demo’d the split jerk beforehand so I had something to go on. Before we got into it I told him to give me a couple reps based on what he was seeing. The above is what we got, a little “tight roping”, front knee in a weak position. Otherwise not to bad for someone with limited experience.

image

Correction #1 (above pic)
I explained to Rico that the split isn’t just moving the feet straight out from under the hips. Just like you would in the catch of a snatch or clean, the feet should move out into a shoulder width position for added lateral stability. Catching with the feet inline forces us to balance, and we could very well miss a lift because of this lack of stability. The above picture is what happened when I asked Rico to move his feet out at shoulder width in the split. He immediately told me he felt more stable and was able to be more aggressive with his footwork. The only problem we had now was his knee position, with his weight being on the inside of his front foot and the resulting hip chasing forward.

image

Correction #2 (above pic)
Now Rico was feeling more confident and was picking up things really well today. My next correction was to get Rico’s front knee in a good position. I explained to him that just like the squat, that the knee is not very stable when it tracks inside the toe. I had him hit a few reps with a PVC pipe having him demonstrate proper knee tracking. Instantly his catch improved. As you can see, while not perfect, he is in much better position. Barbell, shoulder, hips and back knee are all much closer to being in vertical plane over where his heals were at the start.

In about a 20 minute session and about 15 reps in Rico hit his previous PR for a double and then hit a new 10 pound PR. As Rico continues to perfect his weightlifting craft we should see big gains as he now has some better fundamentals to build upon. Great job Rico!