Exercise Library

Press



AKA Military press, overhead press, shoulder press
 
The press is the most basic pressing and overhead strength exercise in Olympic weightlifting. It was formerly a contested lift and was dropped from competition after the 1972 Olympics.
 
 
Execution
 
Secure the bar in the jerk rack position with the feet at approximately hip-width and the toes turned out slightly. Keep the weight balanced on the heels while maintaining full foot contact with the floor and stabilize the trunk with air pressure and strong muscular tension. Drive the bar off the shoulders aggressively with the arms, pulling the head back out of the way of the bar to clear a direct path, and push the bar into a fully locked overhead position behind the neck as you would in the jerk. As the bar leaves the shoulders, spread the elbows to move them under the bar as soon as possible, and bring the head back forward through the arms as the bar passes it.
 
 
Notes
 
When performing multiple rep sets of the press, the full jerk rack position does not need to be reset—the subsequent reps can be touch-and-go as long as they remain full range of motion (bar contacts the shoulders at the start of each rep).   
 
 
Purpose
 
The press is a simple upper body strength exercise. It can also be used to teach the proper mechanics of the upper body for the jerk and push press.  
 
 
Programming
 
Sets of 1-10 reps can be used depending on the timing and the specific need. 6-10 reps will help more with hypertrophy and some strength; 3-5 reps will be generally the most effective for strength work and some hypertrophy; 1-2 reps will usually be used for testing maximum lifts but will also improve strength. For use teaching and reinforcing proper upper body mechanics for the jerk, light weights should be used for 3-5 reps, each of which should begin from a dead stop and the full jerk rack position.
 
 
Variations
 
The press can be performed from behind the neck.






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