Press In Clean
AKA Sots Press
The press in clean is a press done from the bottom of a front squat.
With a jerk grip and the bar in the jerk rack position, sit into the bottom of a squat. Without any bouncing from the legs to help, press the bar up into the proper overhead position, making sure to press in a direct line by getting your head back out of the way, and locking the elbows securely and squeezing the shoulder blades together aggressively.
Hold this overhead position momentarily before returning the bar to the shoulders at a controlled speed—don’t simply let the bar crash back down. Make sure the bar touches the shoulders before pressing it up again—you don’t need to completely reset the starting position and press from a dead stop on each rep.
Your squat stance should be exactly what you use in the clean with the feet flat and your balance even over the whole foot. The trunk should be held rigidly throughout the set in exactly the same posture you want when receiving the clean.
This exercise is only appropriate for lifters whose mobility allows the movement to be done without pain. While it will help improve mobility and posture, the athlete needs to be in range for it to be effective and not harmful to the shoulders. The name Sots press comes from lifter Viktor Sots who popularized it, and is often incorrectly applied to the press in snatch.
The press in clean helps improve clean receiving position mobility in the ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders. It also helps improve trunk stability, back extension strength (particularly mid and upper back), upper body overhead strength, and balance in the receiving position. It can be used as a pressing accessory exercise to make use of the time spent and improve mobility at the same time.
The press in clean is most commonly used at the beginning of a training session before cleans to reinforce and prepare the receiving position. Sets of 3-5 reps are appropriate; weights need to be determined based on the abilities of the lifter, and may be limited to the empty barbell. If they will be done with heavy loading, they can be performed toward the end of a training session as more of a strength exercise to prevent overly fatiguing the upper body prior to performing heavy cleans.
The press in clean can be started from the top down (i.e. sit into the squat with the bar already overhead and then lower and press); it can be done with prescribed pauses in the overhead position (usually 2-3 seconds); and it can be done with completely resetting the bar in the rack and beginning each rep from a dead stop.