1/30/13

Don't Fall Under Peer "Press"ure

I was at WFHS yesterday, and I had programmed for some shoulder press. It was towards the latter end of the workout so they were already pre-fatigued. I set them up, showed them an example of proper technique, and let them have at it. As expected the first movement was forward arms with a backward head. [insert irritating buzzer sound.] That is the classic press form that 90% of new lifters do.


Even rustic lifters that have been living out of a muscle and fitness magazine fall shame to this scandalous movement. At a lighter weight having the weight in front of you may not be that big of a deal. However, as soon as you add the kilos tragedy is waiting for you. The forward lean creates awkward pressure and burden on the rotator cuff and glenhohumeral cartilage.

5 Steps To A Proper Press

The proper sequence of events can be easily called and coached.



    1. Squeeze the bar so that it rests towards the bottom of your palm. Let your thumb rest on top of the bar. A shoulder width grip is ideal. For Dbell press keep hands at a shoulder width distance throughout the press.

    2. Have the arms point straight towards the ground, making them perpendicular with the floor. A slight angle is recommended, roughly 15-45 degrees will do.

    3. When pressing the bar overhead keep knees stable and push the hips through [similar towards a thruster movement.]

    4.During vertical drive, force the elbows inwards causing lateral rotation of the shoulders. This creates some torque, which will assist in the drive. This is a healthy rotation and actually good for the shoulders.

    5.Finally, at the top of the press push your head through and lock out the elbows. The pit of your elbows [i.e. the medial portion] will face forward. The call for the head is, "put your head through the window." So imagine trying to just stick your head into someones window [but less creepy and illegal like].

    Congratulations, you just graduated from the school of healthy shoulders, and proper shoulder press.

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    About Me

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    BS, MS - exercise Physiology
    EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

    Published Thesis
    The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


    The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

    Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.