The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Not without incident..... Mad Martigan's Avatar
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    Standing Military press question

    I pretty much do the WBB1 routine right now. For shoulders I do standing military press, dumbell arnold press, and whatever kind of raises I feel like doing. My question really concerns the range of motion for the military press. How far down should I bring the bar? I see(and read about) a lot of people stopping at 90 degrees on their BB and DB shoulder type presses, which is about at the tip of my nose for me. However, if I drop the bar down to my chin, man, what a WORLD of difference. It takes so much more strength to complete the motion. Am I leaving a lot of strength on the table by restricting the ROM to 980 degrees?



    Also, would push presses be better than military presses? That may be a personal preference, but I'd like to hear people's opinions.

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  3. #2
    Banned Roddy's Avatar
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    I like military press, but prefer to do it seated for back support.... i come down just past my chin. I'm always looking to for the most TUT and stretch, and you just can tell its working your muscles alot harder when you go a little lower.

  4. #3
    Not without incident..... Mad Martigan's Avatar
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    For sure. Just those few inches make a big difference in the effort required.

  5. #4
    phil 4:13 Bako Lifter's Avatar
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    I tap the very top of my chest when I go down with the barbell. I do push presses too, those are fun. I put the bar on my back like on a squat with push press though.

  6. #5
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    i bring the bar down to my chest on each rep, is that to far or is it ok?
    Height 5,8
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  7. #6
    not so little anymore Little John's Avatar
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    I think the general consensus is that the chest is a good place to start the military press.

  8. #7
    Strength & Protection Kiaran's Avatar
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    Wherever it's comfortable. The important thing is not to **** your back up.
    32 yo - 5'6" - 170 lbs
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  9. #8
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
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    I start and finish at the top of my chest (as low as I can go) - and always standing.

  10. #9
    PoutineEh
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    i start intially with a push press to get the weight up, then i start repping it to the top of my chest. standing military is so much harder imo than seated

  11. #10
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Unless you have bad shoulders and a doctor tells you not to go down all the way to your chest, I would use the whole range of motion. Standing military presses are a great way to build up some extra stability and add a bit more overhead volume, but you do go down in weight on them a bit. If you would like to get better at the olympic lifts, overhead work is important.

    As far as push presses go, your legs do a lot of the work. I would not classify this as a good shoulder exercise. I think its more of a Jerk-assistance exercise. My issue with viewing this as a shoulder exercise is that you are fundamentally cheating; when you go up in weight, how do you know you didnt just push more with your legs? Its kinda like doing those crappy cheat bicep curls where someone looks like they are cleaning the weight. You arent really doing your biceps as much as you could be in doing that, and similarly you are not using your shoulders as much as you could be in a push press. I think push presses are a great exercise for power and lower body-upper body coordination, but not great for shoulder development specifically.

    Jay

  12. #11
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    standing presses is far more difficult because your core comes into play to stabilize. Any exercise done on your feet is going to have more transfer into any activity you are doing.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member Steve-O-68's Avatar
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    If you're doing any kind of overhead pressing, scapular mobility is important. If your scapula isn't moving in line with your ribcage, you're asking for problems. It could lead to shoulder impingement, lumbar hyperextension, etc. So make sure you have good scapular traction.

    That said, use a full ROM. Don't try to force a larger range of motion than what naturally occurs, because then you'll start compensating elsewhere.

    Like some of the other guys have said, standing is much more challenging than seated because your core is heavily involved. As far as push press goes, you may be able to get more weight up, but since you're getting help from your legs, they take a lot of shoulder recuitment out of the movement. They can be good for heavy eccentrics, but again, you have to be careful of excessive lumbar extension.
    Stephen Antel, NESTA-PFT

  14. #13
    Senior Member KoolDrew's Avatar
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    I've always come right down to my chest everytime.

  15. #14
    not so little anymore Little John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O-68 View Post
    If you're doing any kind of overhead pressing, scapular mobility is important. If your scapula isn't moving in line with your ribcage, you're asking for problems. It could lead to shoulder impingement, lumbar hyperextension, etc. So make sure you have good scapular traction.
    I'm struggling with my standing military press form / technique and I would appreciate if someone could further explain this in layman's terms. At the higher altitude of the movement I feel like there is a lot of pressure on the base of my spine and that my lower back is over-arching to compensate for the struggle.

  16. #15
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little John View Post
    I'm struggling with my standing military press form / technique and I would appreciate if someone could further explain this in layman's terms. At the higher altitude of the movement I feel like there is a lot of pressure on the base of my spine and that my lower back is over-arching to compensate for the struggle.
    I'm not sure what Steve is talking about, but I've found that tightening the quads, squeezing the glutes together, tightening the abs and standing very erect and rigid will keep the lower back from straining too much, as well as allow you to lift more weight.

  17. #16
    Senior Member Levantar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little John View Post
    I'm struggling with my standing military press form / technique and I would appreciate if someone could further explain this in layman's terms. At the higher altitude of the movement I feel like there is a lot of pressure on the base of my spine and that my lower back is over-arching to compensate for the struggle.
    There is pressure at the base of your back. The exercise is working your stabilizer muscles and those are what allow you to balance properly for the lift. If the "pressure" or discomfort is to the point where you think you could injure yourself then you should be lowering the weight you are pressing until you work on your stabilizing muscles more. Keep in mind that the best way to work your stabilizing muscles is to to compound exercises with strict form. When you feel yourself losing form then you are increasing your chances of injury.

    BTW, I do standing OH press just like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuxfIK24AIM

  18. #17
    Wannabebig Member Steve-O-68's Avatar
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    What I was talking about is that when you press the bar overhead, your shoulderblades need to be able to rotate back. The top of the shoulder blade rotates back while the bottom rotates forward. There's a bony process on top of the shoulderblade shaped like a bent finger. If your shoulderblade doesn't move like it should, when you press overhead, your humerous (long bone in upper arm) will bump up against this bony process, and can pinch your rotator cuffs. A common way that people with bad shoulderblade mobility compensate for this is to hyperextend your lower back, making the lift resemble an incline bench. This can lead to all kinds of low back problems.

    If your shoulders are good, and you still have low back extension, it's probably because the weight is too high. Instead of staying upright and the focus being on your lateral delt, you're leaning back, bringing your stronger anterior delt into play. Use less weight.

    Here's a pic of what I'm talking about. Notice how he's arched his back. Ideally, he should be straight up, with his head between his arms. If he was sitting down, he'd be in almost the same position as if he was incline benching.


    Perhaps I'm overcomplicating things, but I'd rather see someone lift safely and with proper form, than seeing someone do a lift wrong that will end up hurting them eventually.
    Last edited by Steve-O-68; 04-01-2007 at 03:37 PM.
    Stephen Antel, NESTA-PFT

  19. #18
    not so little anymore Little John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O-68 View Post
    I'd rather see someone lift safely and with proper form, than seeing someone do a lift wrong that will end up hurting them eventually.
    Damn straight! Thanks for the tips man.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Vapour Trails's Avatar
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    Buy the book "Starting Strength". It's explained in detail. Almost everyone does military wrong in my gym.

    Some quick pointers, when the bar is resting on your chest, get you elbows way forward, they shouldn't be under the bar at all. This keeps your upper back tight. Press up as close to your face as possible, without hitting it. Once your clear your face, you need to get under the bar. An easy way to do this is think about moving your hips back.
    That's a picture of Scarlett Johansson.

  21. #20
    Former Fatass Unreal's Avatar
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    I bring it all the way down to my chest, and press it all the way up. It is rare to see anyone military press full ROM, and I'm the only one at my gym I've ever seen do standing.
    Nick V

  22. #21
    Wannabebig Member
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    what grip width do you guys use, shoulder width?
    Height 5,8
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  23. #22
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    I'm thinking of changing to seated overhead press, it seems like a more pure shoulder excercise because you take the legs out of the equation, is this correct?

  24. #23
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    +1 for standing military press!
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  25. #24
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vapour Trails View Post
    Some quick pointers, when the bar is resting on your chest, get you elbows way forward, they shouldn't be under the bar at all. This keeps your upper back tight. Press up as close to your face as possible, without hitting it. Once your clear your face, you need to get under the bar. An easy way to do this is think about moving your hips back.
    I've tried this (elbows forward). I can't grip the bar overhand if I do. It puts my wrists at a very awkward and weak angle on the bar. I can grip it underhand without a problem with the elbows forward, though.

    Does the grip make much of a difference in hitting the shoulders? I can't see how it would and I'd take a few pounds less on the bar in exchange for eased tension on my shoulders... especially at the start/rest position.
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  26. #25
    Former Fatass Unreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JConrad View Post
    I'm thinking of changing to seated overhead press, it seems like a more pure shoulder excercise because you take the legs out of the equation, is this correct?
    Your legs shouldn't be doing anything unless your push pressing.
    Nick V

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