Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Saving Your Knees from A Push Press

Well hey to all those weary Bruins fans out there that stayed up late last night only to watch 18 seconds of what-the-hell-was-that chaos? I will say it was one of the wildest endings to a Stanley Cup final I've seen for awhile. What is with Chicago and these crazing endings, 3 years ago Kane scores the game winner and no one knew it but him and a few other because the puck got stuck in the net under the padding. Last night...well if you didn't watch I'll let you watch sports center and see the highlights. Everyone can now start sleeping like a normal human, hopefully. Despite my foolish lack of sleep from staying up I'm feeling a good post today.

I'm going to start this with a question, when is it really a good idea to put your knees over your toes and bear weight on those toes? I'm willing to bet most people with a working brain cell or 2 will tell you never! Second question I have is, if we teach the Deadlift, the Squat, the Clean, the Snatch as well other variations of these exercises to start with hips back and push through the mid-foot or heal, why is it that we have people bombing the push press? I can look on you tube for push press or anything similar to it and 9 out of 10 videos the demo will have the trainee/trainer push their knees forward to start the movement. WHY??? Hurts my knees watching it, especially when it's with heavy weight. I know some people are going to call me out on this and say I'm being too picky or that I am an idiot, either of those might be true. Even if those are so, I'm going to teach it this way, because if you haven't figured it out I worry about knees a ton, mostly because the pair I have are going to need replacing at some point according to my Doctor, AWESOME. Maybe it's an over reaction, but I'm going to do everything to prevent that and in turn I'm going to help anyone I can keep there's as long as possible too.

After that is all said some of you were probably scratching and wondering what in the Holy Hand Grenade is a push press? Push press is an over head pressing variation that enables those that don't have the strength to do a traditional over head press to do exactly that. By using your legs just a little bit to get the weight up. As I said before people botch it, perhaps the person shouldn't be doing the movement in the first place (check out the recent T-Nation article by Tony Gentilcore on over head presses). More to the point if you can over head press and it's not hazardous to your health, let's get you started, and I like this movement to get started with some of my clients, not all, but some.

I've posted video below on mistakes people make doing a push press and how I teach it, the right way. Let's be real, everyone has little things here or there for every lift on how they want it done. As long you are consistent and keep the basics in line, you and you're clients/athletes should be fine, so like I said this is how I teach it.

First video is pretty much the way I teach it and want it done. Pay attention to the green line and how forward my knees slide in each video. This one not too far if it all, others, well it's not pretty lets just go with that.

This next video there are 2 issues, 1 is the knees, you'll notice them, they come far too forward for what I would want. The 2nd issue is that each rep is not distinct, the reps flow together which is wrong to me. It's a power movement, you can not be explosive and have the reps flow together, you won't see a (Good) power lifter try to flow together cleans as if they were one rep, so why would you do it for this? Next case...

Third video the main issue is the knees, but I also have an issue with some people making this into too much of a squat to press, honestly if you want to do a push press and call it so, just be consistent in what you're calling it and how you are coaching it.

Final video the main issue is the press itself, it's an over head variation, not an in front of head, ruin my shoulder and back variation. When you don't finish a press over head you are more likely to look to arch your back to make it some sort of deep incline press with your chest (which is helping, but not as much). Good cue that I've used is elbow in line with the top/back of ear, varies from person to person.

Again make sure you have shoulders healthy enough to do this without ruining yourself, if you have no clue, seek out a (good)local fitness professional. Enjoy the videos guys and I'll be back for more later this week. Until then go out there and get after it!

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