Four Times the “Helicopter” Jerk Made an Appearance On the Platform

There are a ton of factors that go into completing a successful jerk, and it’s arguably the toughest lift to complete while being gassed from snatches and previous attempts (not to mention the clean just beforehand). At this point, an athlete’s power, strength, and mental capacity are usually slightly decreased.

After sharing a video on our Instagram page featuring what we could only call a “helicopter” jerk, it got us thinking: How often does this happen to weightlifters, and most importantly, how often has it been filmed? Thanks to Reddit for the inspiration, this has happened enough times to put together a “helicopter” jerk round-up. Below are four videos when the “helicopter” jerk made an appearance on the platform, and in one world record.

1. Brucklyn Weightlifting and the Never Ending Jerk

The original video from Brucklyn Weightlifting (an Austrian weightlifting team page) that spurred the inspiration for this article features a younger lifter, who ended up spinning for over 720 degrees before the video cuts out. In the comments section there was a ton of speculation about the outcome of this insane jerk attempt, and some athletes even stated, “He’s still spinning to this day”.

Brucklyn Weightlifting ended up commenting on our video, and confirmed that unfortunately he eventually dropped the weight and earned a “no lift” call. Remember, the feet need to be in line, and while the lifter doesn’t need to be facing the judges to receive white lights, they do have to stop turning, even if just for a moment.

2. Daniyar Ismayilov London 2012 Olympics

Ismayilov is a 69kg weightlifter who descends from Turkey. He competed in the 2012 London Olympics for Turkmenistan, and earned a silver medal for Turkey at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Check out his “helicopter” jerk from the 2012 London Games. Unfortunately, Ismayilov was unable to stabilize and earned a “no lift”.

3. Sukanya Srisurat 2015 Asia Weightlifting Games

In 2015 at the Asia Weightlifting Games, Thai 58kg weightlifter Sukanya Srisurat found herself in a tough spot. After hitting a jerk, taking multiple steps forward, and eventually spinning 180 degrees, Srisurat failed to stabilize and complete the lift.

4. Kianoush Rostami 220kg Clean & Jerk World Record

In 2015 at the Fahr Cup, Iranian 85kg weightlifter Kianoush Rostami found himself with 220kg on the bar and an attempt at a world record. After crushing the clean, he locks out the jerk, and slightly spins to the right before stabilizing completely.

He was awarded with the world record, and will forever be connected with the saying “classic Rostami” when “helicopter” jerk make a platform appearances.

Wrapping Up

The “helicopter” jerk isn’t really a thing, and it definitely makes for a dramatic finish to a long winded competition. Some weightlifters were able to pull off the rotation and stabilize for a good lift, but others had to drop the weight before they get the down signal. Either way, there’s no denying that each athlete put up a valiant effort to save their lift.

Feature image screenshot from @barbend & @brucklyn_weighlifting Instagram page. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.