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Barbell Power Jerk

Barbell Power Jerk

The Barbell Power Jerk is a powerful and dynamic exercise that primarily targets the lower body muscles while also engaging the upper body and core. It is a popular exercise in Olympic weightlifting and is great for building strength, power, and explosiveness. During the Barbell Power Jerk, the athlete starts by standing with the barbell resting on the front of the shoulders, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The feet are positioned slightly wider than hip-width apart. With an explosive movement, the athlete dips into a partial squat, and then forcefully extends the hips and legs to drive the barbell overhead. At the same time, the athlete drops into a split position with one foot forward and one foot back, creating a stable base to catch the barbell overhead. The arms are fully extended, and the barbell is stabilized overhead before standing upright and recovering to the starting position. This exercise targets the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and hip muscles, making it an excellent choice for developing lower body strength and power. Additionally, the Power Jerk engages the upper body muscles, including the shoulders, trapezius, and triceps. It also challenges the core muscles for stability during the explosive movement. To perform the Barbell Power Jerk safely and efficiently, proper form and technique are crucial. It is essential to maintain a strong and stable core throughout the movement to prevent any stress on the lower back. Learning and practicing the exercise under the guidance of an experienced coach or trainer is highly recommended to ensure correct form, prevent injuries, and maximize the benefits of this exercise.


  • Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards. Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Rest the barbell on your upper chest, with your palms facing forward and elbows bent.
  • Inhale and initiate the movement by slightly bending your knees and hinging your hips backward while keeping your chest up and maintaining a neutral spine.
  • As you reach the bottom of the dip, explosively extend your hips, knees, and ankles, pushing through the ground with your feet.
  • Simultaneously extend your arms overhead, using the momentum from your lower body to drive the barbell upwards. Keep your core engaged and maintain an upright posture throughout the movement.
  • As the barbell reaches its peak height, quickly drop under it by pushing your body underneath and catching the barbell with your arms fully extended overhead. Your feet should split, with one foot stepping forward and the other foot stepping backward.
  • Maintain a stable and balanced position in the split stance, ensuring your front knee is in line with your ankle and your back knee is aligned under your hip.
  • To finish the exercise, stand up from the split stance by driving through your front heel and bringing your feet back together.
  • Lower the barbell down to the starting position by bending your knees and hips, always maintaining control of the weight.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Concentrate on proper technique to ensure safe and effective execution.
  • Engage your core muscles for stability and power during the exercise.
  • Work on your mobility and flexibility to achieve a better range of motion.
  • Focus on explosive power by utilizing your hips and legs to drive the barbell overhead.
  • Gradually increase the weight being lifted to progressively challenge your muscles.
  • Ensure proper grip on the barbell to maintain control throughout the movement.
  • Warm up adequately before attempting heavy lifts to prevent injuries.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days to allow for muscle recovery and growth.
  • Incorporate complementary exercises such as squats and shoulder presses to enhance overall strength and performance.


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