Front or Rack Jerk 1-1-1-1-1
2min max rep Double Unders
3min max rep Kettlebell Snatch
4min max distance Burpee Broad Jump
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When you see “jerk”, 99% of the time, we practice jerking the bar from the front rack position. So why in the world would anyone ever want to jerk from behind the head? Graham Holmberg, the winner of the 2010 CrossFit Games, had never practiced rack jerks before the Games. On the second WOD of this year’s Games, the Pyramid Helen ended with a max overhead lift. Once the athletes were given the instructions on the guidelines for the WOD, a coach offered Graham a tip: jerk from behind the head and you will jerk more weight than from the front rack position. If you watch the athletes who competed in the early heats, most, if not all, jerked from the front. Graham was in the last heat, finished first in Helen and once he got to the overhead, decided to give a rack jerk a go…he PR’d his jerk by 20 pounds and finished third in the max overhead at 285 lbs. (You can watch the archived WOD here click on the first drop down menu and select July 17, 10-11 am.)
Watch this video of Aimee Anaya doing jerks at Mike’s Gym. Notice she does not press the bar overhead; the height of the bar never moves up. Instead, Aimee drops her body DOWN under the bar and locks her arms out to support the weight. She recovers by taking a small step back, then brings her back foot foward. It’s all about speed through the middle and getting under the bar FAST. If you find your jerk to be slow, check and see if you are pressing the bar overhead (that’s slow), or are you dropping down under the bar (that’s fast!).
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