CrossFit Split Jerk: Benefits, Technique & Workouts

Crossfit Split Jerk is a powerful full-body exercise that requires coordination, strength and mobility. It’s one of the more popular CrossFit exercises due to its challenging yet rewarding nature. As it’s an Olympic lift, it can take some time to master the technique; however, once you get it down, you will see significant results in your fitness level. In this post we’ll explore what the Crossfit Split Jerk is, the muscles involved, benefits, proper form tips and types of workouts that involve it.

What Is The Crossfit Split Jerk?

The Crossfit Split Jerk is an explosive compound movement that combines both lower body power with upper body stability. You start by positioning yourself in a shallow squat stance and then explode upward by driving your legs straight while simultaneously pushing the barbell overhead. To finish, you quickly drop into a deep split position – hence the name ‘Split Jerk’ – as you press the weight up. This move takes practice but is well worth mastering if you want to improve overall athleticism.

Muscles Involved In The Split Jerk Exercise

The Crossfit Split Jerk is a total body workout that involves nearly all muscle groups. It predominantly works the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, back) along with your core and shoulders. Your quadriceps are also recruited during the initial part of the lift when you drive the barbell off your shoulders.

Benefits Of The Split Jerk Exercise

One of the biggest benefits of doing the Split Jerk exercise regularly is increased athleticism and performance. As this is a very dynamic exercise which uses multiple joints at once, it develops motor control and co-ordination in addition to building raw strength. Other benefits include improved posture and balance, increased joint stability and greater power output.

Tips On Performing The Split Jerk Properly

To perform the Split Jerk correctly, it’s important to keep these key points in mind:

  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart for balance and stability
  • Engage your core throughout the entire motion
  • Focus on keeping your arms straight and hands locked on the barbell during the dip phase
  • Drive through your heels on the way up
  • Keep your chin tucked in and chest upright during the overhead portion of the lift

Crossfit Split Jerk

Common Mistakes When Doing The Split Jerk Exercise

One common mistake when performing the Split Jerk exercise is not dipping low enough before exploding upwards. Another mistake is letting your elbows bend too much or flare outwards rather than staying close to your torso. Make sure to pay attention to your form so that you don’t lose momentum during the dip phase. Additionally, make sure to always keep your head looking forward during each repetition.

Incorporating The Split Jerk Into Your Fitness Routine

If you are looking to increase strength, power and speed, then incorporating the Split Jerk into your routine is essential. Start by mastering the basic form using just your own bodyweight until you feel comfortable with the movements and transitions. Once ready, you can add light weights such as kettlebells or dumbbells and progress from there. A good rule of thumb is to use lighter weights for higher reps if you are training for endurance or heavier weights for fewer reps if you want to focus on power.

Variations Of The Split Jerk Exercise

Once you have mastered the standard Split Jerk exercise, you can try variations to further challenge yourself and target specific areas of your body. Some variations include Single Leg Split Jerks, Back Foot Elevated Split Jerks, Snatch Grip Push Presses and Dumbbell Squat Jumps with Overhead Throw.

Types Of Workouts That Include The Split Jerk Exercise

The best type of workout to include Split Jerks would be a HIIT style session where you incorporate multiple exercises within a short amount of time. For example, do 4 sets of 10 reps of the Split Jerk combined with 2 minutes of burpees and jump squats for 30 seconds each. Rest for 1 minute after each round and repeat for 3 rounds in total. Alternatively, pair up two exercises like lunges and overhead throws for 15 reps each with minimal rest periods between exercises.

Equipment Used To Perform The Split Jerk Exercise

A simple set up consisting of a barbell and plates should suffice to do the Split Jerk properly. However, depending on the variation you choose to do, other equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls or even resistance bands may be used as well.


In conclusion, Crossfit Split Jerks are an excellent full-body exercise to help build strength, power and explosiveness. With proper form and guidance from a coach or trainer, this dynamic movement can offer numerous health benefits including better posture, joint stability and motor control. Try adding it into your next workout routine to really ramp up your intensity!

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