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The GS Jerk vs. the Kettlebell Power Jerk

December 14, 2005 10:05 AM

When Girevoy Sport was young, competitors used the power jerk technique where the elbows did not touch the stomach. They did it because they were not allowed to rest with kettlebells on the chest. The referee did not allow them to hold kettlebells there more than few seconds, so they did not care on how to hold the kettlebells there. The power jerk, although not longer practiced in competition because it is more tiring, is a good way to train your shoulders and triceps.

But the Girevoy Sport was evolving and coaches were looking for ways to improve the technique. Soon they figured out that when you put your elbows on your stomach or on the belt you can relax your whole body and arms so you can get more reps, many more reps. In addition to a better rest between reps, the new rack enabled the competitors to bump the kettlebells with their stomachs, up and forward, during the drive. That resulted in more reps. After these changes in the technique some gireviks were able to jerk 2x32kg for a hour or even more without any rest! That's why a 10 minutes limit were introduced in the GS competition rules?

To sum up the differences between the old power jerk and the new GS jerk:
  • A different elbows position in the rack
  • Bumping the elbows with the stomach in the new GS jerk
  • Leaning back in the rack position in the new GS jerk
  • A greater knee dip when lowering the kettlebells from the lockout to the rack in the old power jerk than in the new GS jerk
Nowadays, all GS competitors use the new jerk technique, but strength athletes still use the power jerk technique to get their muscles tired faster?

Andrey Kuzmin is an experienced Russian Kettlebell lifter and competitor. He has written two manuals and an encyclopedia of kettlebell exercises. Andrey's website is If you are interested to purchase videos of Girevoy Sport competitions shoot Andrey an email to