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Barbell Split Jerk

Barbell Split Jerk

The Barbell Split Jerk is a dynamic and explosive exercise that primarily targets the upper body, particularly the shoulders, triceps, and upper back. It is a popular exercise among weightlifters and athletes, as it improves upper body strength, power, and stability. To perform the Barbell Split Jerk, you start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the barbell with a comfortable grip on your shoulders. From there, you dip into a partial squat, generating power by extending your hips, knees, and ankles explosively. As you do this, you push the barbell overhead with force and split your legs into a lunge position simultaneously—one leg forward and the other back. Maintaining your core stability, you drop down into a split stance, with your front knee bent and aligned above your ankle and your back foot slightly elevated. Your front foot should be pointing straight ahead, while your back foot can be turned slightly outwards to enhance balance and stability. The Barbell Split Jerk not only builds strength and power but also contributes to better coordination, balance, and agility. It is a demanding exercise that requires proper technique and skill, so it is important to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as your form and strength improve. Incorporating the Barbell Split Jerk into your training routine can enhance your performance in various sports, especially those that involve explosive upper body movements. However, it is important to remember that proper warm-up, cool-down, and progression are key to minimizing the risk of injury and maximizing the benefits of this exercise.


  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell resting on your shoulders behind your head, with your hands gripping the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a big step forward with one foot, while keeping your back straight and chest up.
  • Bend both knees to lower your body into a lunge position, making sure your front knee is directly above your ankle and your back knee is hovering just above the ground.
  • Quickly press through your front foot and straighten both legs to drive yourself up into the air.
  • As you jump, use the strength from your legs to press the barbell overhead, fully extending your arms.
  • While in mid-air, switch the position of your feet, landing with the opposite foot forward.
  • Bend both knees as you land to absorb the impact and lower your body back into a lunge position.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps, alternating the position of your feet each time you jump.
  • Remember to keep your core engaged and maintain a strong, stable upper body throughout the exercise.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on proper form and technique to avoid injury and maximize efficiency.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load to build strength and stability.
  • Ensure that your landing position is stable and balanced before progressing to the next repetition.
  • Engage your core throughout the movement to maintain stability and prevent lower back injuries.
  • Practice proper breathing technique, inhaling deeply during the lift and exhaling forcefully during the jerk.
  • Wear supportive footwear to provide stability and prevent foot injuries.
  • Include mobility exercises and stretches in your warm-up routine to improve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Support the weight of the barbell primarily with your front foot, distributing the load evenly through your front leg.
  • Utilize a controlled and balanced barbell dip to generate upward momentum during the jerk.
  • Gradually increase the speed of your footwork as you become more comfortable with the movement.

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