Overhead lockouts

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Level 2 Valued Member
Hi everybody!
I need help answering a question concerning the minimum flexibility to start jerking. I have read many books, including "Return of the kettlebell", over and over again and can't find the detail I'm looking for.
Should on be able to maximally (!!!) retract ones shoulder into its socket in the overhead lockout while still be able to keep the arm close and level with the ear?
I have no problem with stabilizing kettlebells overhead in a good position, but the question is if I pack my shoulder hard enough. If I do the exercise from "Enter the kettlebell" where one hangs from a pull-up bar, my arms travel forward if i maximally flex my lats to keep my shoulders into their sockets.
Any thoughts?
Thank you all in advance!
Best regards, Henke in Sweden

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm far from an authority on the jerk (and know little about GS jerk technique), but here's my take:

Don't overthink it. If your overhead position with bells is good, then what happens when you hang from a pullup bar is not particularly relevant.

Ideally, you would like to be able to maintain your overhead position with as little muscle power and as much skeletal alignment as possible, with vertical arms and fully locked elbows. Take a video of yourself to check that your elbows are fully locked -- it is easy to fool yourself into thinking that "almost fully locked" is the same as fully locked.

But the finishing position is the easier part. You also need to be able to maintain your vertical overhead position in a partial squat position, as you will be in when you drop under the bells to lock out. Personally, this is where I have a problem, and why I stick to push presses.


Level 5 Valued Member
take a light barbell overhead. while maintaining the contraction and posture of hanging, push your shoulders up while pulling the shoulders with your lats. this drill will help.
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