The Overhead Press.

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  • The Overhead Press.

    Onderstaand alle berichten van de Overhead Press om het overzichtelijk te houden.
    Skeggǫld, Skálmǫld, Skildir ro Klofnir.


  • #2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnBmiBqp-AI
    Skeggǫld, Skálmǫld, Skildir ro Klofnir.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Overhead Press

      Here's what you need to know...

      •  If you do an overhead press and your shoulders and thoracic spine don't extend as they should and you can't lock the rib cage down and keep the hips extended, stop your elbows at ninety degrees of flexion in the bottom position.

      •  Draw an imaginary line from ear to ear over the top of your skull. This is where the bar finds its home. Finishing at any point that isn't on this line makes for a faulty finale.

      •  If you're suited for full-range pressing, try using a false or thumbless grip. It requires less shoulder extension in the bottom position. But for those putting the brakes on at ninety degrees, wrap the thumbs and keep the wrists straight.

      •  Using a thumbless grip on overhead pressing allows for a better path of the bar by bringing it in closer to the centerline of the body. It's also easier on the shoulders and wrists.

      •  Start with a shoulder-width grip. As a visual cue, rotate your hands back towards your delts. If your thumb grazes the outside of them, you've got it right.

      •  Contract your glutes, abs, and quads when you press. The more tension you have throughout the body, the stronger you'll be.

      •  Activate the biceps on the eccentric portion of the press. When you lower the bar, think about doing a sort of hammer curl towards your face/ears.

      •  Press with a purpose. That means press with violence and hate. Try to think about throwing it through the ceiling.


      Experienced lifters appreciate the process of honing a lift for strength and for training longevity. While technique has overarching principles, every lifter must overcome nuances based on individual anatomy and structure. To polish your overhead press, we'll consider both.

      Hands, Elbows and Shoulders: The Logistics

      Overhead press logistics are dependent on control – and not just control of the iron in your grasp. Your ability to control your body position determines hand position on the bar. What we're looking for is how well you control your hips and low back, and how well your thoracic spine extends as the bar travels through a rep. Let's use a video example to guide your overhead press orchestration. That's me in the video. The weight on the bar is 235.

      Sure, pressing 235 pounds overhead is a nice feat for a 205-pound man, but the repercussions –walking like an elephant did a somersault on my back and limiting my ability to perform other barbell lifts for a month – aren't appealing.

      Notice that Quasimodo-esque mass in my upper-back? That's my thoracic spine. It doesn't do a whole lot of moving, especially into extension. Not good. Since it doesn't move, my low back and hips take up the slack and translate forward like a mo-fo. But, if I'd aligned my hands so my elbows reached ninety degrees in the bottom position and didn't lower the bar past my chin, I'd have avoided the sting of an angry lumbar.

      Hand placement and range of motion are dependent on how well we move and what moving parts we can control. Do your shoulders extend and flex as they should? How about your thoracic spine? Does it extend? Can you lock your rib cage down and keep your hips extended? If you do all of these things well, then employ a narrow grip and move the bar through the full range of motion. But if any of these elements are askew, stop when your elbows achieve ninety degrees of flexion in the bottom position.

      How to Finish

      Draw an imaginary line from ear to ear over the top of your skull. This is where the bar finds its home. Finishing at any point that isn't on this line makes for a faulty finale. This alignment also makes it difficult for your rib cage to protrude, which is good. If it still protrudes, work harder to "lock it down" with your abs. If that doesn't work, you're just not well suited for barbell pressing, at least not right now. Another implement – dumbbell, kettlebell – may suit you better.
      Implements Other Than Barbells

      Barbell pressing asks the body to be efficient under awkward circumstances. If you have the biomechanical means to meet the challenge, great, press to your heart's content. However, if you're not suited to barbell press, your strength and size shouldn't suffer as a result. Dumbbells and kettlebells allow us to press from more biomechanically advantageous positions, which results in a better movement arc. Pressing those implements from different positions –kneeling, half-kneeling, standing – prepares us to handle the barbell, and if our body tells us that we should never barbell press, they're a great alternative for building size and strength.

      Loading Parameters

      There's no cut-and-dried answer. Loading parameters depend on what you're trying to accomplish. Training choices and practices are predicated upon a desired outcome. I will say, however, that I typically load the overhead press using sets of two to five reps, as this range builds strength and promotes mastery of form. To add volume, which is a concern for anyone trying to add mass, I add cluster sets after the main sets. The volume increases, the weight stays heavy, form stays respectable, and I grow.

      However, there are times a guy just wants to rip into a high-rep set – you know, get out some angst and let the iron fly. If that's you, then I implore you to use dumbbells or kettlebells for these sets. Sure, throwing the barbell around for a set of twenty every once in a quarter is okay, but making it a habit constitutes less than stellar thinking and you'll end up with less than stellar shoulders (and the same goes for the neck and probably your back).

      A Quick Note on Grip

      If you're doing full-range pressing – moving the bar from collar bone to over the dome – try using a false or thumbless grip as it requires less shoulder extension in the bottom position, but for the folks stopping at ninety degrees, wrap the thumbs and keep the wrists straight. Holding straight wrists also permits intense torque, especially during the decent. Grab the bar as hard as possible and torque the outside of your hands into the bar. The message sent to your brain, and subsequently to your shoulders, is one of safety and power. Get muscles and neurology communicating effectively and you'll tap further into your strength.


      Lots of guys these days shit on any form of seated press, but I'm not sure why. The entire purpose of pressing overhead is simply to build bigger and stronger shoulders. Whether you're seated or standing doesn't really matter unless you're a competitive strongman and it applies directly to how you compete. Otherwise, take full advantage of every kind of overhead variation. Anyone who presses 300-plus pounds overhead for reps, seated or standing, is going to have big, strong shoulders.
      For our purpose here however, we're going to stick with the standing overhead press, since so many guys have incorporated it into their routine and use it as a primary bench press support movement.

      Technical Cues

      Before we get into the programming part of the routine, let's address a few technical issues that can help with your press.

      False grip: This means not having the thumb around the bar. You'll feel much stronger with a thumbless grip. There are several theories about this, but in my experience it allows for a better path of the bar by bringing it in slightly closer to the centerline of the body. The thumbless grip is also easier on the shoulders in general and more kind to the wrists.

      Proper grip-width: I do my pressing with a relatively close grip and my shoulders constantly thank me for it by not aching anymore. Not only that, but I've found that because my grip is similar across all of my pressing movements, the carryover from each one is far more significant. Start with a shoulder-width grip, or at least in that range. As a visual cue, rotate your hands back towards your delts. If your thumb grazes the outside of them, you're sitting pretty.

      Keep the body tight: Contract your ass, abs, and quads when you press. When I was doing a lot of hard Klokov presses, aka snatch-grip presses, my quads would cramp so badly I'd have to walk around for a few minutes afterwards to get them to relax. Remember, the more tension you have throughout the body, the stronger you'll be, so even tension in the legs and glutes will transfer to a stronger overhead press. Simply pointing your toes slightly out allows the glutes to contract harder.

      Activate the biceps on the eccentric portion: This is a fairly nebulous concept, but I'll do my best to explain it. When you lower the bar, think about doing a sort of hammer curl towards your face and ears. This helps to distribute the load of the bar across a greater area, and again creates more tension. More tension, more strength. Once you get this technique down, your overhead press (and pressing in general) will increase. The biceps also stabilize the elbow joint, so activating them helps as you lower the bar.

      Head Through, or Not?

      One common cue for pressing overhead is to get your "head through" the bar as it clears your head. Think about pushing your head forward through the "window" created by your arms. A lot of lifters, including Olympic lifters, adhere to this and it allows them to press heavier weights. However, when I tried to push my head through I always felt as if I lost tension in the movement. When I simply pressed the bar straight overhead without pushing my head through, I felt much stronger and more stable. My suggestion is to try both methods and see which one you feel it puts you in a stronger position.

      Develop the Muscles Involved in the Press

      This one seems obvious, but a lot of people don't put much thought into actually developing the muscles required to press, i.e., the anterior delts, traps, and the triceps. In the program below, I hit all those areas with support work consisting of the following:

      Plate Front Raise: To build the anterior delts. Done for high reps with a 25-pound plate.
      Lateral Raise: Standing with dumbbells.
      Bent-Over Lateral: To keep balance throughout the shoulders.
      Upright Row: To develop the traps.
      Incline Press: To develop the upper pecs and triceps. Use the same grip you use for standing press.
      Standing or Seated Triceps French Press: To strengthen and develop the triceps.

      But for developing the press itself, you will of course have to perform the press!

      The Overhead Press Specialization Program

      The program below put 20 pounds on my overhead press in 6 weeks, which, at the stage of the game I'm in, is pretty good. Keep in mind the percentages listed below should be based on your current best overhead press, not what you did as a PR six months ago.
      Week 1


      Shoulder Training Day 1


      Exercise Weight Sets Reps
      A Standing Press Empty Bar
      45%
      60%
      65%
      70%
      75%
      65%
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      3
      20
      5
      4
      3
      2
      1
      5
      B 25-pound Plate Raise
      1 100*
      C Upright Row
      4 8
      D Triceps French Press
      4 8
      * nonstop

      Shoulder Training Day 2


      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Press – 350 method 3 50
      350 method: Try to get a total of 50 reps in 3 sets, using the same weight. When you can reach 50 total reps, increase the weight by 5% the next time out.
      B Lateral Raise 4* 12
      C Bent-Over Lateral 4* 12
      * use the same weight for all 4 sets

      Week 2


      Shoulder Training Day 1


      Exercise Weight Sets Reps
      A Standing Press Empty Bar
      50%
      60%
      70%
      75%
      80%
      70%
      55%
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      3
      2
      20
      5
      4
      3
      2
      1
      5
      8
      B 25-pound Plate Raise
      1 100*
      C Upright Row
      4 8
      D Triceps French Press
      4 8
      * nonstop

      Shoulder Training Day 2


      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Press – 350 method 3 50
      350 method: Try to get a total of 50 reps in 3 sets, using the same weight. When you can reach 50 total reps, increase the weight by 5% the next time out.
      B Lateral Raise 4* 12
      C Bent-Over Lateral 4* 12
      * use the same weight for all 4 sets

      Week 3


      Shoulder Training Day 1


      Exercise Weight Sets Reps
      A Standing Press Empty Bar
      50%
      60%
      70%
      75%
      80%
      75%
      65%
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      3
      2
      20
      5
      4
      3
      2
      1
      3
      5
      B 25-pound Plate Raise
      1 100*
      C Upright Row
      4 8
      D Triceps French Press
      4 8
      * nonstop

      Shoulder Training Day 2


      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Press – 350 method 3 50
      350 method: Try to get a total of 50 reps in 3 sets, using the same weight. When you can reach 50 total reps, increase the weight by 5% the next time out.
      B Lateral Raise 4* 12
      C Bent-Over Lateral 4* 12
      * use the same weight for all 4 sets

      Week 4



      Exercise Weight Sets Reps
      A Standing Press Empty Bar
      50%
      60%
      70%
      75%
      85%
      75%
      65%
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      3
      2
      20
      5
      4
      3
      2
      1
      3
      5
      B 25-pound Plate Raise
      1 100*
      C Upright Row
      4 8
      D Triceps French Press
      4 8
      * nonstop

      Shoulder Training Day 2


      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Press – 350 method 3 50
      350 method: Try to get a total of 50 reps in 3 sets, using the same weight. When you can reach 50 total reps, increase the weight by 5% the next time out.
      B Lateral Raise 4* 12
      C Bent-Over Lateral 4* 12
      * use the same weight for all 4 sets

      Week 5


      Shoulder Training Day 1


      Exercise Weight Sets Reps
      A Standing Press Empty Bar
      60%
      70%
      80%
      85%
      90%
      80%
      70%
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      3
      2
      20
      5
      4
      3
      2
      1
      3
      5
      B 25-pound Plate Raise
      1 100*
      C Upright Row
      4 8
      D Triceps French Press
      4 8
      * nonstop

      Shoulder Training Day 2


      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Press – 350 method 3 50
      350 method: Try to get a total of 50 reps in 3 sets, using the same weight. When you can reach 50 total reps, increase the weight by 5% the next time out.
      B Lateral Raise 4* 12
      C Bent-Over Lateral 4* 12
      * use the same weight for all 4 sets

      Week 6


      Shoulder Training Day 1


      Exercise Weight Sets Reps
      A Standing Press Empty Bar
      60%
      70%
      80%
      85%
      95%
      80%
      70%
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      1
      3
      3
      20
      5
      4
      3
      2
      1
      3
      5
      B 25-pound Plate Raise
      1 100*
      C Upright Row
      4 8
      D Triceps French Press
      4 8
      * nonstop

      Shoulder Training Day 2


      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Press – 350 method 3 50
      350 method: Try to get a total of 50 reps in 3 sets, using the same weight. When you can reach 50 total reps, increase the weight by 5% the next time out.
      B Lateral Raise 4* 12
      C Bent-Over Lateral 4* 12
      * use the same weight for all 4 sets

      Week 7 - Testing

      On week 7, take most of the week off and then come back and work up to a nice new single. Simply beat your previous max by a few pounds and then go for something bigger.

      Final Notes

      You might have noticed the program stays relatively light the first few weeks. This is basically a peaking program and it'll work tremendously well if you don't get overzealous in programming. In other words, don't do your calculations based on a one-rep max that you want to hit; program it with something you know you can hit but will still be fairly difficult.

      As far as the support work, start relatively light and add weight each week there as well. All of the rep work is to give you a bit of hypertrophy and strength in the stabilizing groups. If upright rows bother your shoulders, replace them with "armpit rows" where you grab a couple of dumbbells and row them up your sides towards your sweaty pits.

      Lastly, you want to press with a purpose. That means press with violence and hate. Try to think about throwing it through the ceiling. Pressing slowly has no place in the world of developing maximal strength.


      I'll come right out with it. The overhead press (and its variations) is my favorite lift because it's also my best lift. Many training partners – often jacked-up behemoths that can outperform me in every other movement – have tried to go pound for pound with me in overhead work, and it's always a hoot watching them slouch home with their muscular tails dragging between their legs.
      Random gym-goers stop mid-squat and marvel at the amount of iron I toss around, along with my pristine technique in doing so. My push-press PR is often the first thing I discuss when meeting people at weddings.

      I even have a small cabinet in my office loaded with perfume-scented fan letters from female admirers gushing over my pressing prowess.

      Ladies, I'm flattered, but let's at least try to keep things at a professional level, okay?
      All right, I'm exaggerating (well, parts anyway), but I'm not the only lifter enamored with the overhead press. Strength coaching legend Mark Rippetoe wrote this article for T Nation offering solid evidence why the overhead press should be a mainstay in your program, and it goes well beyond just building a silhouette like a superhero.

      Coach Rip argues that pressing overhead keeps shoulder strength in balance from anterior to posterior; something your beloved bench press fails at miserably. He drops a few other salty knowledge bombs along the way so If you haven't read that article yet, you should do so, immediately. Go ahead, I'll wait.

      So now that we know that the overhead press is a worthy movement and that I've personally had some success with it, this article gives you my top 5 tips for improving your overhead press. This is top secret, black box stuff that I've been keeping close to the vest for years. So don't say I never gave you anything.

      1. It All Starts With The Grip


      I've noticed that most people start with a grip that's too wide. While it's true that a wider grip leads to a shorter range of motion (which is usually advantageous when trying to lift heavy), going too wide also takes you out of your 'pillar of power' – my term for an imaginary column that runs in a straight line from your feet (which should be hip-width), all the way up to the ceiling.

      Going too wide also doesn't allow you to keep your elbows tucked next to your rib cage and takes much of your lats out of the movement, significantly limiting your power output.

      The good news is, finding your correct grip is a breeze. Step to the bar and grab it just outside shoulder width, making sure to keep your forearms and elbows tucked closely to your serratus anterior.

      Next, as you press, try to keep your elbows in as tight as possible during the entire movement. Sure the bar will have a longer way to go, but your shoulder will maintain a better angle, allowing for more strength to transfer to moving the bar.

      2. Keeping It Tight Means Getting It Right

      There are two ways to guarantee abdominal activation. One is by squeezing something between your legs (insert sophomoric yet amusing joke here). The other is by holding something heavy over your head.

      However, if an impressive overhead press is the goal, don't wait for the load to be above you before bracing your abs. You should be firing essentially all your major muscle groups before the bar ever leaves your delts, including your feet, calves, quads, glutes (especially), abs, and lats.
      This will make your press instantly stronger. Want proof? Find a friend and give him a firm handshake. He'll probably feel some pressure from that grip you've developed doing heavy deadlifts and chins.

      Now, repeat the handshake, but this time consciously root your feet into the floor and fire all the muscle groups mentioned above. Your grip strength just doubled, and now your friend is steamed because he'll have to eat his morning Pop Tarts with his left hand for a week. Serves him right for eating crap. In any case, the power of that total body contraction can be transferred into a heavier press.

      3. Head Back, Not Chin Up


      As you press the bar overhead, especially with variations such as the push press or jerk, there's often a tendency to want to point your nose up to the sky to avoid smashing the bar into your chin.

      This is a natural reaction and makes practical sense as the last thing you want to do is destroy all that expensive orthodenture work that kept you in braces for most of your teen years.

      However, this technique also forces you to loop the bar forward, taking it out of the most ideal plane of motion, which is directly above the center of your feet.

      The solution is instead of looking up, retract your entire head directly back, as if you were making a double chin. The bar should pass directly in front of your face on its way up.

      This will keep the bar path centered, balanced, and along the strongest possible path.

      4. Be Quad Dominant

      For the last few years it seems the glutes have received much of the credit for being the prime producers of strength and power in the lower body. All this attention to the posterior chain may be well deserved in most lifts and athletic endeavors. However, when it comes to overhead presses that involve leg drive (such as the push press or jerk), you want the power to come from the quads.
      If you try to make the movement more glute dominant by hinging your hips back, the bar will move forward, taking it out of the aforementioned 'pillar of power'(trademark pending). However if you break forward with your knees and keep your torso tall, the bar will stay over the center of your feet and in its most advantageous position.

      5. Work On The Weakness

      Once you've mastered pressing technique, it's very rare that adding strength to the prime movers (the anterior and medial deltoids and the triceps) will be the quickest way to progress the lift. More often the antagonists, synergists, and support structures are the weak links holding you back.
      Make sure that external shoulder rotation work is a big part of your program to ensure strong posterior deltoids. I like the seated external dumbbell rotation for this. Also, work on strengthening your obliques with side planks and offset carries. Finally, keep your rotator cuff healthy and fully functional by training it with a variety of pre-hab movements.

      Putting It All Together


      Now that you know how to get the most out of your overhead presses, here's a great way to incorporate them into your training during a hypertrophy (mass building) phase.

      For this type of phase, I'm a fan of a body part split focusing on 1-2 muscle groups per session. I often recommend training 4 days per week with one day being a lower body day with the main lift being a squat variation; a chest/back day; a lower body day with the main lift being a deadlift variation; and a shoulder/arms day.

      The following is a sample shoulder/arms day that would fit well into this phase. Notice how the exercise selection stays static but the reps/sets/rest change from week to week.

      Also, week 3 is when you should plan to overreach (or open up a can of whup-ass, for you less delicate types), so feel free to incorporate some more advanced techniques such as drop sets or rest/pauses here.

      Hypertrophy Program – Shoulder/Arm Day

      A1 Military Press
      A2 Preacher Curl
      B1 Dips
      B2 Cable Lateral Raise
      C1 DB Hammer Curls
      C2 EZ-Bar Decline Triceps Extension
      C3 Seated DB Reverse Flye


      Sets Reps Rest
      Week 1 4 8-10 60 sec.
      Week 2 5 6-8 75 sec.
      Week 3 3 10-12 60 sec.
      Week 4 2 15 45 sec.

      Get An (Over) Head Start

      You're all set, pal – five rock-solid tips and tricks to improve your overhead press. Now it's up to you to strap on your gonads and incorporate more overhead lifting and accessory movements into your training program to start building brute upper body strength.

      Furthermore, let's not forget that it's my favorite lift. So at least you and I will have something to talk about the next time I see you at a wedding.
      Last edited by Aldo Raine; 22-04-2015, 14:40.
      Skeggǫld, Skálmǫld, Skildir ro Klofnir.

      Comment


      • #4
        Increasing Your Press

        In the old days, most men who lifted weights in a serious fashion practiced the standing press – and most of them were reasonably good at the lift. Let’s work together to bring that aspect of training back to the Iron Game. Make it a belated New Year’s resolution: “This year, I WILL get serious about my standing press numbers.”
        Having said that, let’s discuss some basic points about getting started on the standing press and increasing your poundage in the lift. Here are twelve tips for lifters who are starting to re-discover the standing press:

        1.) Practice Makes Perfect
        There is a very precise pressing groove. You learn “the groove” through practice. To become a better presser, you need to press way more often than once a week or once every 10-14 days of heavy pressing. In the old days, Olympic lifters trained the exercise three, four or even five times a week. Personally, I think that four or five times a week would be excessive. But there’s nothing at all wrong with doing standing presses two or three times per week. In fact, many will find that it’s the best way to improve the lift.]

        2.) Train Heavy
        If you do high or medium rep sets in the standing press, you probably are not going to develop exactly the right groove for heavy presses. With light and medium reps, you use light weights, and with light weights, you can easily push “close” to the right groove, but not “in” the groove. Close only counts in horseshoes, folks. In lifting, your goal should be to make an absolutely perfect lift on every rep you do.
        As noted above, the standing press requires you to develop a very precise pressing groove. In this sense, it is both a “skill” lift and a “strength” lift. You MUST train the lift with heavy weights and low reps in order to learn how to do it properly.
        Think about how lifters train cleans and snatches. Do they do high reps? No. They do singles, doubles and triples. If you do higher reps in a “skill” lift your form breaks down and you actually teach yourself the WRONG groove.

        3.) Select the Proper Rep Scheme
        To use heavy weights, you MUST use relatively low reps. Anything over five reps is too many. Doubles, triples and singles are great. The 5/4/3/2/1 system is excellent. And remember, you don’t need to do 50 presses in every workout. a total of 7 to 15 presses is fine. (5/4/3/2/1 equals a total of 15 reps, which Bob Hoffman considered to be ideal.)

        4.) Train the Lower Back
        Always remember, the standing press builds works, trains and conditions the lower back. That’s one of the most important aspects of the exercise – indeed, it may be the MOST important aspect of the exercise.

        But the other side of the coin is this: if you have not been doing serious work for your lower back, you are NOT ready to train hard and heavy on standing presses.
        Unless your lower back is strong and well conditioned, the FIRST thing to do is to go on a specialization program for the low back. After six to ten weeks of concentrated lower back work, you will be ready for standing presses.
        This is especially important for anyone who has been avoiding squats and training his legs with leg presses, hack machine squats, dumbell squats, wall squats or any other exercise that takes the lower back and hips out of the picture.
        Ditto for anyone who does trap bar deadlifts as his exclusive lower back exercise. The trap bar deadlift is not as effective a low back builder as are deadlifts performed with a regular bar. It’s more of a hip and thigh exercise. Many lifters injured themselves by using trap bar deadlifts as their exclusive low back exercise, not realizing that it really does not work the low back as effectively as other movements. Then they hurt the low back doing squats, rows or curls, and wonder what happened.
        Anyone who has been training with bench and incline presses (or dips), back supported overhead presses (or machine presses), leg presses and trap bar deads — a schedule I mention because it is highly popular and similar to that used by many modern lifters – should devote serious attention to training his lower back before he tackles standing presses. Such a lifter may have fairly strong shoulders and triceps, and may THINK that he can go out and start doing standing presses with BIG weights. He can’t. His lower back will not be anywhere strong enough and well conditioned for serious work on the standing press.
        Let me also note that one of the very best exercises for building STABILITY throughout the lower back and the middle of the body is the wrestler’s bridge. Try 3 sets of 30 seconds per set (with no weight) and work up slowly and steadily until you can do 3 sets of 3 minutes each. You won’t believe how much stronger and more stable you are when doing your barbell exercises. In this regard, don’t forget that I started to do bridging in the Spring of 2000, and by the Fall I had worked up to 12 reps with 202 lbs. in the “supine press in wrestler’s bridge position.” At about the same time, I hit a personal best of 270 in the standing press. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
        If you ask someone to list a few good “assistance exercises” for the press, they’ll usually say, “dumbell presses, side presses, incline presses, push presses, jerks, upright rowing, etc.” – in other words they’ll think of “shoulder exercises” and different types of pushing movements. That’s lazy thinking. The shoulder, triceps, traps and “pressing muscles” get plenty or work from pressing. The most beneficial “assistance exercises” for the press are those that strengthen the middle of the body.

        5.) Do not neglect training your core.
        All of the foregoing points apply to training the waist and sides. Unless you already have been doing this, work hard on these areas for six to ten weeks BEFORE starting to specialize on the standing press.

        With regard to the waist and sides, the big problem is the crunch. The exercise gurus who have promoted the crunch for so many years have done nothing but develop a generation of lifters who lack any reasonable degree of strength and stability in the middle of their bodies. Scrap the crunches. Replace them with bent-legged situps (with weight, 3×8-12), lying or hanging leg raises, heavy sidebends and the overhead squat.
        The overhead squat? Kubik, have you lost your mind? No, not at all. The overhead squat builds tremendous strength and stability all through the middle of the body. It hits the inner abdominal muscles that lie BENEATH the “abs.” When it comes to strength and stability, these are the muscles that count.
        And while we’re talking about core strength, let’s talk about the power wheel. Paul Anderson used a simple cart type of this apparatus, described in an earlier press article in IronMan.

        6.) Start Your Day With Presses
        Many lifters train their presses after doing heavy squats or heavy back work. That doesn’t work very well, because your lower back is tired and you are less stable. Do the presses first. That’s the way Olympic lifters did their training in the old days, and remember, those guys were all specialists in the standing press.

        7.) Be Aggressive
        Every single one of you can develop the ability to do a standing press in perfect form with bodyweight. I mean that. Dead serious. Every single one of you . . . bodyweight . . . in perfect form. That should be your long-term goal.
        For the younger guys, and for the stronger, more experienced lifters, bodyweight is just the beginning. Once you hit bodyweight, set your sights on 110% of bodyweight. When you can do that, shoot for 120% . . .
        Anyone who can handle bodyweight in the standing press is STRONG!
        Anyone who gets up to 130% is handling weights equal to some of the very best Olympic lifters in the world back in the pre-steroid days.

        Norb Schemansky, in the 198-lb. class, handled 281 pounds. If you do the math you’ll see that Schemansky was pressing 142% of his bodyweight. These numbers show what a strong, determined man can achieve with years of proper, hard training.

        8.) Try Cleaning for your Presses
        Many lifters find they can press more if they clean the weight than if they take it off racks or squat stands, because the bar is better positioned for a heavy press. So learn how to clean, and try cleaning the bar before pressing it. You might find it adds a little more zip to your pressing.

        9.) Dumbell Pressing
        From Saxon to Grimek, from the beer halls of Austria to Davis, Hepburn and Anderson, many, many old-timers specialized in heavy dumbell pressing. And guess what? The best dumbell pressers usually turned out to be the best barbell pressers! You see, heavy dumbells are very hard to balance. To improve your overhead pressing, you need to do plenty of overhead pressing. Heavy dumbell exercises, however, are a tremendous assistance exercise for the standing press. Keep them in mind, and when your progress slows down, work them into your schedule. Harry Paschall used to swear by them; heavy dumbell pressing is one of the “secrets” in his 1951 classic, “Development of Strength”.

        10.) Handstand Pressing
        Another excellent assistance exercise for the standing press is the handstand press. Grimek used to do plenty of handstand presses and gymnastics work, and he became one of the best overhead pressers of his generation. Sig Klein used to specialize in handstand presses and tiger bends, and he managed an amazing record in the military press – a heels together, letter perfect military with 150% bodyweight. Paschall, who was good buddies with both Grimek and Klein, swore by the movement. Give them a try!

        11.) Keep the Back, Abs and Hips Tight
        For proper pressing, you need to “lock” your low back, abs and hips. Most lifters will do best if they also tense the thighs. The entire body must be tight and solid. Pretend you are doing a standing incline press without the incline bench. Your body must support the pressing muscles and the weight of the bar exactly the same as would an incline bench. (This is NOT to say that you lean back and try to press from a 60 degree angle or any similar foolishness. I don’t want you to lean back as if you were ON an incline bench, I want you to understand that your back, hips and abs have to give you that same level of support that a solid bench would provide.)

        12.) Specialize for a While
        The standing press is an exercise that responds very well to specialization programs. Try a schedule devoted to very little other than heavy back work, squats or front squats and standing presses. Remember, the great Olympic lifters of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s devoted almost all of their time to cleans, snatches, presses, squats and jerks, with a significant amount of their training being devoted to the press. They built enormous pressing power and tremendous all-round strength and power. You cannot do better than follow their example.
        The foregoing tips will help anyone become not just a good, but an EXCELLENT presser. And remember one more thing – pressing is LIFTING. The standing barbell press is one of the most basic tests of strength ever devised. It has been a standard measure of a man’s physical power since the invention of the barbell. When you become a good presser, you can rightfully claim your place among the lifters of the past and present. Do it!
        by Brooks Kubik

        Bill March Performing the Press in the 1960s (below)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9ubAQfYcWQ
        Skeggǫld, Skálmǫld, Skildir ro Klofnir.

        Comment


        • #5
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wol7Hko8RhY
          Skeggǫld, Skálmǫld, Skildir ro Klofnir.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Lost Art of Overhead Pressing

            The Forgotten Element

            Overhead pressing proficiency is the lost element in most bodybuilding and strength training programs. Far too much time and effort is instead spent on training the bench press, particularly for athletes. Those who omit overhead pressing from their training plan can experience severe consequences!

            Training overhead pressing strength offers many advantages:
            1. It's an excellent form of overload to build shoulders, traps, and triceps.
            2. One of the best ways to get a great bench press is to train overhead pressing strength. Because of various inhibition mechanisms, your bench press progress is often stalled until you spend time on the overhead press.
            3. Training overhead pressing strength can improve your long-term shoulder health. Training only the bench press pathway is often the cause of many shoulder problems because the subscapularis muscle becomes shortened and puts pressure on the shoulder joint.
            4. Overhead pressing is a great conditioner for the lower back and other core muscles. It's also a great diagnostic tool for the strength coach. For example, a weak lower back becomes obvious during the performance of the overhead press.
            5. Most shoulder pain in the weight trainee can, without a doubt, be traced to a lack of overhead pressing work. My colleague Bill Starr pinpointed the same reason many moons ago. Until the mid-seventies, overhead pressing measures were popular amongst iron game practitioners. Once the press was dropped from Olympic competition, it fell out of favor.




            Of course, one could argue that other predictors such as external rotator strength pinpoint the cause. Yes, but overhead pressing strength is a better predictor. Nick Liatsos, Boston based physical therapist, has the same opinion. He treats plenty of strength athletes and has made the same observation. He's also of the opinion that one should be able to press behind the neck to demonstrate healthy shoulder function, and that the behind-the-neck press to bench press strength ratio is a predictor of shoulder health.

            When we do upper extremity structural balance testing as outlined in the Level 1 PICP practical course, we can identify a strong correlation between shoulder pain and lack of overhead strength. There are two ratios of interest that can point that out:
            1. The ratio between seated dumbbell overhead presses and the bench press. It should be that the weight done for 8 reps on each dumbbell represents 29% of the close-grip bench press measure. In other words, a man able to close-grip bench about 220 pounds for a single would use a pair of 65's for 8 reps in the seated dumbbell overhead presses.
            2. The ratio between the behind-the-neck press and the bench press. The weight for a 1 RM behind-the-neck press from a seated position should represent 66% of the weight used for a 1 RM in the close-grip bench press. That load is lifted from a dead-stop position with the bar resting on the traps, not from a weight handed off in the lock-out position.




            Technical Points

            Here are some technical points to think about before we look at the routine:
            1. Whether you're doing front or behind-the-neck presses, make sure that your dominant leg is about 10 to 12 inches forward to the other foot. This diminishes pressure on the lower back compared to the standard feet-aligned technique. Within the first workout you'll know how effective your lower back training has been. Trainees with poor lower back strength will find it hard to stabilize the trunk during this exercise. Therefore, if you can sense that the lower back is limiting your overhead power, it's time you devote more effort to increasing the loads you can handle in lower back work.
            2. If you have difficulty doing front presses because of a flexibility issue, A.R.T. (Active Release Technique) will do the trick. A qualified practitioner that releases the shoulder girdle muscles and a few forearm muscles should be able to set you in the right groove in a matter of only a few treatments. To find the A.R.T. practitioner in your area, go to www.activerelease.com. Depending on the sports biomechanics background of the practitioner, he may not know exactly how to help you, but you could always give him this list of structures as a starting point:
              subscapularis
              serratus
              subscapularis tied to serratus
              infraspinatus
              teres minor
              teres major
              latissimus dorsi
              teres major tied latissimus dorsi
              long head of the triceps
              deep and superficial forearm flexors
              pronator teres
            3. Make sure to include some rhomboid work and external rotator work when specializing on the overhead press. Just look at Eric Cressey's article on this topic for some ideas. A great way to catch up on overhead work is to forgo the bench press and its variations for twelve weeks or so. Don't freak out. Your bench press won't sink to abysmal levels. In fact, it'll jolt to new levels once you return to doing it!

            The Program: A 12-Week Cycle for Overhead Pressing Strength

            Here's a way to cycle your overhead strength work. Do the given exercise paired with an antagonistic exercise of your choice. In the case of the shoulders, antagonistic work would consist of pull-ups, one-arm pull-ups, one-arm pulley pull-ups, etc. Once you've done the exercise for four workouts, move to the next phase.

            Workouts 1 to 4

            One-Arm Braced Overhead Dumbbell Presses

            Start off with 5 x 6-8 reps on a 40X0 tempo. (This means you'd lower the weight in four seconds and immediately change direction and lift explosively for the concentric portion.) Rest 90 seconds before doing the antagonistic exercise. Rest another 90 seconds before returning to it.
            Make sure to take an additional 10 seconds between arms to ensure quality work. You can apply the 5% solution to this set and rep scheme. Just refer to my previous article on this topic.
            Stand and hold a dumbbell in the non-dominant hand. Use the other hand to hold onto a power rack post. If you're holding the dumbbell in the left hand, the right leg is forward in a semi-lunge position, and the right arm is extended at shoulder level holding on to the power rack post. This exercise allows for a greater range of motion in the pressing range than in the two hand dumbbell press as the scapulae can move more freely.
            The key here is to keep the hand in a neutral grip (semi-supinated), not a pronated grip (palms-down). By training only one side at a time, you'll allow the scapulae to move over a greater distance.

            Make an extra effort to bring the biceps as close to your head as possible when you're nearly completing the concentric (lifting) range. I said biceps-to-head, not head-to-biceps. Again, the extra range comes in handy to restore shoulder health.
            Always start the series with your non-dominant arm and match the reps with the dominant arm. Don't do more reps on the dominant arm as it'll accentuate the discrepancy.
            Do not wear a belt, and make sure you keep the legs out of it! Once your legs are in the starting position, they don't move until the set is over. Again, if you're structurally balanced, you should be able to do 8 reps at a weight that's about 29% of your best single in the bench press.

            Workouts 5 to 8

            Seated 80 Degree Barbell Overhead Presses


            I suggest you do wave-like loading on this one: 5, 3, 2, 5, 3, 2 on a 31X0 tempo. Rest 2 minutes before doing the antagonistic exercise. Rest another 2 minutes before returning to it.
            Start the exercise from the bottom position. You want to unrack it from pins set up for the front squat and sit down on the 80 degree bench. Then, lift up your feet and lock them up against the foot pad so that your lower back is pressed firmly against the seat pad. Again, don't wear a belt!
            Make sure that the arms are in line with the ears when you reach the end of the concentric range. This will ensure optimal movement of the shoulder girdle and promote shoulder longevity.

            Workouts 9 to 12

            Seated Press Behind Neck with Chains


            Do 6 sets for this exercise: 3 x 5 followed by 3 x 3. Rest 2 minutes before doing the antagonistic exercise; rest another 2 minutes before returning to it. A 30X0 tempo is recommended. Because of the chains, the concentric range may take 2-3 seconds, but concentrate on moving the load as rapidly as possible. Intent is the key.

            Start the exercise from the bottom position. You want to unrack it from pins set up for the back squat and sit down on a regular flat bench. Don't use lower back support; you'll be fine. No belt!
            Make sure that the hands are as close as possible during the initial set-up so that the range of motion is maximal.

            Workouts 13 to 16

            Standing Barbell Overhead Press
            Do 11 sets for this exercise: 8 x 1 followed by 3 x 3-5, resting 2 minutes before doing the antagonistic exercise and another 2 minutes before returning to it. A 20X0 tempo is recommended.
            When you grip the bar, make sure your index fingers are just outside the medial deltoids in the start position. This again will maximize the efficiency of the exercise.

            Pick a weight where you can complete all 8 singles, then drop the weight 15% and do 3 sets of 3-5 reps. When you can complete all 8 singles, increase the weight 5 pounds in the next workout for both the singles and the multiple rep sets. This is brutal, yet very rewarding work.
            Make sure that you're overhead pressing, not push pressing. Keep the legs out of it, and again, don't wear a lifting belt! Since you won't be wearing a belt, abstain from leaning back excessively and turning it into a standing incline press.

            Because the law of repeated efforts is put into play, you can expect major gains in strength during this last phase. And because all these singles potentiate your nervous system, the functional hypertrophy work done at the end will pay off even more.

            Wrap-Up

            This cycle is great for anyone with more than two years of experience in the weightroom. It'll do wonders to develop impressive and powerful shoulders and contribute to overall superior strength!
            Skeggǫld, Skálmǫld, Skildir ro Klofnir.

            Comment

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