Tuesday 9.22.15 WOD NOTES

@ ML, drop 1/2 of rings for mobility

Dynamic Effort Upper

Mobility: 6min

We will use this mobility for the next 3 weeks. Complete the first 2 movements in the video using rings. 3min each movement.
0:00 – 2:06  http://www.mobilitywod.com/daily/friday-april-24th-2015/

Dynamic Warm Up: 5min

Refer to 9.21.15 warm up notes.

Strength: 15min

Push Press (6×3 @ 70% 1RM)

Shoulder pressing has quietly come back from the dead.

It won’t make the history books, but it’s a sad fact nonetheless that a generation of misguided trainees (and sadly, many therapists) basically decided that pressing heavy weights overhead leads to messed-up shoulders and shortened lifting careers.

They were wrong. And thanks in part to thinking man’s coaches like T Nation’s Christian Thibaudeau, Mark Rippetoe, and Jim Wendler, the overhead press (or simply “the press”) has reclaimed its rightful place among upper body exercises that every serious weight trainer should be doing.

However, “pressing overhead” is a blanket term – the lift can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells, seated or standing, behind the neck or to the front, and unfortunately, on a Bosu ball while standing on one leg.

Another very powerful variation is the push press. A favorite auxiliary lift among Olympic lifters, the push press uses a ‘kick start’ from the legs and hips to get the weight moving overhead.

Unfortunately, this has led to the push press being described as a “cheat shoulder press,” resulting in some freestylin’ technique that would make most Olympic lifting coaches run from the weight room.

As you might imagine, learning good push press technique is somewhat involved, but definitely worth your time if building big, strong shoulders and a big bench press are among your goals.

What’s that? The push press improves your bench?

Believe it. The extra weight at the top end of the push press works the same as a board press for the bench press, leading to new PR’s in full ROM performance. The bonus is, the carryover from the push press affects both the strict shoulder press and the bench press. And that’s efficiency.

Hand placement

Start with your hands just outside of your shoulders or a bit closer, depending on your mobility/flexibility. The key is to be close enough to still get your elbows somewhat under the bar – this gives you more leverage when you start to drive with the upper body.

Wider hand placements are generally used for the jerk; where you get a lot more hip power in comparison to the push press.

This is too tight:

pic-1The elbows are close together but drawn forward – not a good leverage position.

This is too wide:

pic-2The elbows are too wide to get under the bar.

This is just right:

pic-3This position allows you to get your elbows under the wrists.

Rack Positioning

As stated, with the push press, the initiation comes from the legs, not the shoulders. It’s imperative that you have good rack position; otherwise you’ll screw up the whole sequence.

A rack position too much like an overhead press will likely result in the movement being initiated by the shoulders. This can cause undue stress to the wrists and limit the overall weight used.

To the left is a bad rack position. On the right is a good rack position:

pic-4-5Notice the elbows are slightly pointed out. This creates a strong shelf to load the bar with heavier weight. It also makes it easier for the elbows to get closer underneath the bar.

Elbow Positioning

To lift heavy weights, you must put yourself in the best possible position. The elbows should be placed as close under the bar as possible without sacrificing the rack positioning. This will help you get your shoulders and triceps into the movement – once you have the required momentum from the hips.

Here’s good elbow position:

pic-6And this is bad elbow position:


Standing Position

Your standing position in the push press is extremely important. If your weight distribution is off, the initial dip will fall apart, resulting in you having to waste valuable energy to correct it.

What I’ve found to be extremely useful is to lean back. At first it will feel weird, but once you get used to it you’ll experience a huge difference in terms of smoothness and power. I credit Artie Drechsler and Joe Yu for this tip.

The Dip

The dip has to be focused on staying upright – if the hips dip back, the vector force will go forward and wasted energy must be spent correcting it. My lifters get tired of me hammering down positioning drills for them, but to push bigger weights, you need to position yourself for it.

Key Points:

• The dip is shallow; around a quarter of the way.
• Don’t dip too fast, otherwise you’ll separate from the bar.
• ‘t dip back or forward, just straight down. Bend through the legs while keeping your torso straight up.

Common mistakes of the dip:

• Dipping back
• Dipping forward

Here’s a video of a dip that’s too back, then too forward, followed by a correct dip:

The Drive

This is where all the momentum comes from. If you’ve followed the above steps, you should be locked and loaded, ready to drive the weight up with force.

Key Points:

• Keep your chest upright.
• Let your legs/hips initiate the movement. Some people tend to be over eager and start pushing with the upper body too quickly. This can screw up the whole pattern and diminish your power output, meaning less weight being pushed.

Bottom line, be patient and let the legs do the work.

Here’s a video showing the arms incorrectly initiating the movement, followed by the correct way:


The final step is the overhead positioning. Here you’ll want the bar to be aligned directly over your center of mass – too far back or forward can create a miss or potentially lead to injury.

Another mistake I see is with head positioning, with some over-exaggerating the head movement. Here you should simply tuck your chin – do not push your head forward! Pushing your head too far forward can cause your body tp move forward with it.

Here’s a video of the head being pushed forward, followed by the correct chin-down position:

Cliff Notes Version

You get all that? If not, here’s a handy cheat sheet for you:

Hand Placement: A little wider than shoulder-width apart.
Rack/Elbow Positioning: Elbows low enough for a good drive with the arms, but keeping the bar racked on the shoulders.
Standing Position: Lean back with a straight torso.
Dip: Keep your torso as straight as possible and bend through the legs.
Drive: Initiate the movement with the legs, not the upper body.
Overhead: Bar should be placed over the crown of the head, and head isn’t pushed forward.

WOD: 20min

“Congeniality is My Middle Name”
5 Rounds
400m run
15 Push Press (95,65)
**20min time cap
There is a 20min time cap on this WOD. This means that Athletes need to be able to complete 3-4 of the rounds of push press unbroken and have a sub 3min 400m run. Coach Athletes not to Push Jerk the barbell when tired.

Cool Down Stretch: 2-3min

$ Out

4 Rounds
30sec. on
30sec. Off
Partner Med Ball Tosses (20,14)