The Power Jerk is a dynamic strength training exercise commonly used in weightlifting and strength training programs to develop explosive upper body strength and power. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the correct technique, benefits, variations, and other essential details associated with the Power Jerk.



  1. Starting Position: Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider. Position a barbell at shoulder height on the front of your shoulders, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and palms facing upwards.
  2. Foot Position: Your feet should be positioned directly under the hips or slightly staggered, with toes pointed slightly outward.


  1. Dip: Bend your knees slightly and lower your body into a quarter squat position, keeping your torso upright and your weight on your heels. This movement is known as the dip.
  2. Drive: Explosively extend your knees and hips while simultaneously pushing the barbell overhead with your arms. This movement generates upward momentum on the barbell.
  3. Catch: As the barbell reaches maximum height, quickly drop your body underneath it by splitting your legs into a lunge position – one foot forward and the other foot back. The front knee should be bent at approximately 90 degrees, while the back knee is slightly bent.
  4. Lockout: Once you’ve caught the barbell overhead, straighten your arms and legs to stand up and stabilize the weight. Your feet should return to a parallel position.
  5. Recovery: Lower the barbell back to the front of your shoulders and return to the starting position by standing up.


  • Keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout the movement.
  • Focus on driving the barbell explosively upward using the power generated from your lower body.
  • Use a controlled descent of the barbell to avoid injury and maintain proper form.


  1. Explosive Strength: The Power Jerk develops explosive upper body strength by requiring you to generate force rapidly to lift the weight overhead.
  2. Total Body Workout: This exercise engages multiple muscle groups, including the shoulders, chest, triceps, core, and legs, making it an effective full-body workout.
  3. Improved Athletic Performance: Incorporating Power Jerks into your training routine can enhance your performance in sports and activities that require explosive upper body strength and power, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping.
  4. Muscle Hypertrophy: In addition to strength and power gains, the Power Jerk can also contribute to muscle growth and hypertrophy in the shoulders, chest, and triceps.

Muscles worked in Power Jerk

The Power Jerk primarily targets the muscles of the upper body, particularly the shoulders, chest, and triceps, while also engaging muscles of the lower body and core for stabilization and support. Here are the main muscle groups worked during the Power Jerk:

  1. Deltoids (Shoulders): The deltoid muscles are heavily engaged during the Power Jerk, especially the anterior (front) and medial (middle) deltoid heads. These muscles are responsible for lifting and stabilizing the weight overhead.
  2. Triceps Brachii: The triceps muscles, located on the back of the upper arm, assist in extending the elbow joint to help lock out the weight overhead during the Power Jerk.
  3. Trapezius: The trapezius muscles, particularly the upper fibers, help stabilize the shoulders and support proper posture throughout the movement.
  4. Pectoralis Major (Chest): The chest muscles contribute to the initial pressing phase of the Power Jerk, assisting the shoulders and triceps in lifting the weight overhead.
  5. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats): The lats play a role in stabilizing the upper body and assisting with shoulder extension during the overhead portion of the lift.
  6. Core Muscles: The muscles of the core, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and erector spinae, are engaged to maintain stability and control throughout the movement.
  7. Quadriceps: The quadriceps muscles, located on the front of the thigh, help generate force during the initial drive phase of the Power Jerk by extending the knees during the dip and drive.
  8. Hamstrings: The hamstring muscles, located on the back of the thigh, assist in stabilizing the knee joint and providing support during the lowering phase of the Power Jerk.
  9. Glutes: The gluteal muscles, including the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, help stabilize the hips and pelvis during the movement.

Overall, the Power Jerk is a complex compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it an effective exercise for developing explosive upper body strength and power, as well as improving overall athletic performance.

Alternate names for Power Jerk:

  1. Jerk
  2. Push Jerk
  3. Split Jerk
  4. Power Clean and Jerk


  1. Split Jerk: Similar to the Power Jerk, but with a deeper split stance, requiring greater mobility and stability.
  2. Push Jerk: Involves a slight dip of the legs followed by a powerful press with the arms to lift the weight overhead.
  3. Behind-the-Neck Jerk: Involves starting with the barbell behind the neck and pressing it overhead.
  4. Knee Jerk: A variation of the Power Jerk that involves catching the barbell with slightly bent knees, rather than dropping into a full lunge position.


The Power Jerk is a highly effective exercise for developing explosive upper-body strength and power. By mastering the proper technique and incorporating variations into your training routine, you can enhance your athletic performance, build muscle mass, and achieve your fitness goals.

Also, check the Overhead Press.

FB Profile

I like to explore things and while doing so I also love to write about a few of them. Currently I am in process of learning how to write proper articles.