Military Press

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teafan
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Military Press

Post by teafan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:50 am

I have been working on my standing military presses with a barbell for about six months - i have a great problem with keeping my back in the correct position whenever i increase the weight... I awlays end up leaning back slightly. Does anyone have any tips to help me address this?


KPj
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Post by KPj » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:01 am

Squeeze your glutes like your life depends on it :grin:

I little lean is ok and required to get the bar clear of your face, but it is common to see people over extending the lower back. Squeezing the glutes fight this.

Other tips would be to learn how to how to "brace" - tense your abs like you're going to be punched, then fill your belly with air whilst still tensing, and hold it as you press overhead. This is essentially the weight belt that nature gave you. Do this with squeezed glutes and you should be good.

KPj

teafan
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Post by teafan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:17 am

Thanks KPj

The gym I go to only has 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 KG discs - I had wondered if it was the minimum jump of 10kg causing me problems but I'll work on your ideas first before i go back to blaming the weight jumps!

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Post by stuward » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:26 am

10 Kg is a big jump for military press. You should look for smaller plates, even if you have to buy your own and bring them with you. One pair of 2.5 Kg and 1 pair of 1.25 Kg are the minimum and they're easy to find. Smaller plates exist but they are either expensive or hard to find. You can go smaller by hanging small weights off the ends but you probably don't need to.

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Post by KPj » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:34 am

10KG is deffinitly a big jump when it comes to upper body lifts.

I guess you could try what I said first, though, because if you can get away with 10KG jumps for a while then - have at it! If not, then push for even more reps at your current weight before moving up and/or settle for less reps initially when you do move the weight up.

Or buy a couple of small discs as Stuward suggested.

KPj


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Post by RobertB » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:55 pm

Yea; dont mean to just stand by these two experienced guys and say "yea dude I totally agree" with no further input... but I'd be screwed if I could only add 10kg, we have 1.25kg plates and I'm reasonably sure I'd even struggle to load 5kg increments.

I also lean - but was linked an article here about squeezing glutes for squats and OHP, infact, everything that makes sense to, turns the abs/lowerback/ass into a huge strong trunk - I know my form is failing when my military press starts to look like an incline bench :)

I love learning new things and seing the pay off from here, this was certainley one of the biggies, infact I think you more experienced peeps need a stand-alone thanks from time to time, so... thanks :smile:

*google image searches care bears*

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Post by bam » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:10 pm

you can also hang some ankle weights off the bar -- a great way to increase small amounts of weight cheaply.

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Post by Higgy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:27 pm

Teafan: Are you standing with your heels together or are your feet spaced apart?

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Post by nygmen » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:59 pm

Sit down and press?


:twisted:

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Post by Matt Z » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:32 pm

How wide is you're grip? I see a lot of guys grip the bar way too wide on Military Presses, which forces them to lean way back.

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Post by Proper Knob » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:29 am

This was posted in Jim Wendlers training log, 5 ways to increase you military press (copied without permission).

Ever since I started pressing, I have been obsessed with making it better. Partly because I was so weak at it for so long (which meant that it had no place to go but up) and because it is simply a cool exercise to do. The death of the Press as a movement can be attributed to a lot of things, none of which actually matter. BUT, if you view this lift with as much enthusiasm as I do, use these tips to improve what I consider to be one of the most fun movements in the gym.

1. Use a false grip - I don't know who told me this or why I began doing this but this made a huge difference with my pressing power and more importantly THE PATH of the bar. It may seem a bit scary at first; holding a bar over your head with a false grip. But this seems to keep the bar path perfect for me and for some reason, make it much more comfortable on my shoulders.

2. Hold the bar in the shelf of your lats - This is hard to explain but think about it this way; don't support the bar in your hands or on your shoulders. "Shoulder" the load with your lats - keep your lats pinched and held tight. This will keep the bar path from getting out in front of you and make you feel stronger at the bottom. A good confidant start makes a huge difference.

3. View it as a total body lift - This doesn't mean that you should turn it into a push press, something that I have caught myself doing from time to time. But because of the line of power goes from over your head to the ground, it requires your whole body to be tight. Squeeze your ass hard! "Squat" the weight up with violence. The press is NOT a shoulder exercise, it is a MOVEMENT. View it as such.

4. Use volume to get stronger - the first thing I did to increase my press is train to a heavy set and then back off for multiple sets of 10. This is very similar to the very popular Boring But Big. I have found that volume increases my press greatly - but do not forget that you have to train heavy, too. As a note - when doing my main sets of 5/3/1, my goal is to simply get the weight overhead; it is a MOVEMENT. When doing down sets, I pull my head through at the top and view it as a "muscle", not a movement. This is a key distinction that one must have when training big lifts (squat, bench, clean, dead, press) and when doing assistance work. One is a movement, the other is a muscle.

5. Make it a priority - Just like any lift, if you want it to increase you have to make it a priority in your training. Once I did this, once I made it as important as my squat or bench press, it made huge increases. But please understand that of any of these lifts (squat, clean, bench or deadlift) this is the one that will increase the slowest and take the most patience. Keep at it and you will be rewarded. There is nothing better than pressing a weight that some people struggle to squat.

Goal

Make it a goal to press your bodyweight - then shoot for 5lbs more.

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Post by teafan » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:52 am

Thanks for your input everyone:

Q: How wide is you're grip?
A: About shoulder width

Q: Teafan: Are you standing with your heels together or are your feet spaced apart?
A: Apart - about shoulder width

I've mentioned my concerns with the weight jumps to the owner of the gym and he said he had smaller plates but kept forgetting to bring them in. I'll keep at him!

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Post by Velcropop » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:10 pm

PK quoting JW wrote:Make it a goal to press your bodyweight - then shoot for 5lbs more.
There are a few things I can imagine accomplishing if I keep at this lifting game: deadlifting twice my bodyweight (~180kg/400lbs), squatting near-the-same, and benching heavier than most people can handle in the aforementioned exercises.

Pressing my bodyweight, however, seems like nothing but a pipe dream. Fark. me.

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Post by jps » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:25 pm

Velcropop wrote:
Pressing my bodyweight, however, seems like nothing but a pipe dream. Fark. me.
Yup.....seems like a long road ahead.

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Post by Jebus » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:40 pm

jps wrote:
Velcropop wrote:
Pressing my bodyweight, however, seems like nothing but a pipe dream. Fark. me.
Yup.....seems like a long road ahead.
But well worth it, I've decided to concentrate more on my Press for upper body strength than Bench.


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