Workout of the Day:
Three rounds for time of:
10 Bodyweight Back Squats
150 Meter Farmer’s Walk (Heavy)
Complete 3 burpees each time you set the weight down on your walk.
A Quick Fix for the Press
Written by Mark Riebel
When performing the press or other overhead lifts, it is not uncommon to see an athlete reaching his or her lockout position with a greatly extended spine and an anterior tilt to the pelvis (see above). Not only can this turn the lift into a standing bench press and artificially increase your numbers, but it can also really mash the facet joints of your spine and cause uneven loading on your discs – possibly leading to injury. This can be caused by a number of things from a weak midline to overly tight hip flexors, or even just being a really bendy ex-swimmer.
To combat this, the abs are usually focused on, and the athlete is told to contract the abs to force the spine into a more upright position. While this works and is a point of performance that everyone should use, I find combining that with maximal contraction of your glutes is a more effective way of getting you into the right position.
The gluteus maximus is the major muscle that makes up your backside; it originates along the posterior surface of your ilium (the bony crest you can feel right above your butt) down to your coccyx (tail bone), and inserts both on your iliotibial band and the posterior surface of your femur. If it’s not immediately obvious, contracting this maximally will automatically pull the pelvis into a neutral position and set up a solid base for the rest of the spine (see below).
The next time you press, just think of pinching a coin between your cheeks or fending off a bully attempting to give you a wedgie. Your back just might thank you.
***Editor’s Note – Mark’s press is officially fixed. Today we witnessed him press 200 lbs. with perfect mechanics – and he probably had another 5 lbs. in him. Nice work Mark!