(The video above is of Olympian Dmitry Klokov, a Russian lifter took home a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics).
You have all seen it in your globo gym days: Muscle Man loads his bar with waaaaay to much weight for him to press. He unracks it and inadvertently dips his knees to help the weight up. Well, as much as I may fault him for cheating his press, I must say he understands the purpose of a push press more than the average CrossFitter I’ve seen.
The push press should be a dynamic move. When a barbell is simply too heavy to press, your body, in its natural quest for efficiency, recruit your legs to help. However, sometimes we sabotage ourselves with some minor mistakes that have major impacts on the lift.
The most common mistakes I see are:
Pressing too early: The whole point of bending the knees and hips is to use your larger muscle groups to drive the bar off your body. When you try to press the bar from your shoulders before you finish the drive, you’re basically mimicking an oompa loompa move followed by a press. Relax your hands, jump the bar off your shoulders and THEN push the bar overhead.
Muted hip: This is when you just bend the knees and not the hips on the dip. The result is a weak drive that loads the quads and back and subjects your lower back to injury. Not to mention it results in a much weaker drive. Make sure your dip involves a knee AND hip bend and that your knees are driven outwards (not inwards or forwards).
Not staying on heels: The dip and drive needs to happen with on the heels. If your ankles are tight (try weightlifting shoes or standing on plates) or if you’re quad dominant, your heels may lift off the ground and all the power is lost from your drive.
Power Clean + Push Press 3×3