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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:17 PM   #1
John J. Rivera
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Couple questions re: Squats and Presses

Okay, so I'm on the Starting Strength program. Today is my second day.

First, the squat. I'm doing it the way Rip suggests (lower on back, etc). I'm used to doing it higher on my back/shoulders, no problems. But I wanted to try Rip's version.

But when I was doing it today with heavier weights, my wrists hurt like hell, like it's supporting the weight, not my back. I tried adjusting and it got a little better, but it still hurts. If I adjust it so that the wrist doesn't support the weight at all, that it'd only rest on the back, it'd just slowly slide down my back (until it literally fell and stopped inside my elbows Thank god I'm using a light weight, it could have been a mess).

What, exactly, am I doing wrong?

And second, the press. The way I have been doing it, I'd support the bar with my arms, it'd just rest in front of my shoulders, but not on it. Rip suggests that you should be able to rest the bar on the front of your shoulders. How, exactly, do I do this? It seems kind of ergonomically unnatural?


Last edited by John J. Rivera : 05-06-2009 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:30 PM   #2
Greg Pieris
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Re: Couple questions re: Squats and Presses

1) is your thumb over the bar with a straight wrist? If you use your thumb over the bar like the book says, it's actually impossible for your wrist to bear the weight. Pull your shoulders blades back, squeeze your elbows together and shove them up. The bar should rest between the bony ridge of the shoulder blade and the posterior deltoid. Your hands push the bar down into this groove to keep it secure. If you're really skinny, there might not be much posterior deltoid there and it might feel a bit hard on the shoulders, but you should still be able to get a secure position if you follow what the book says exactly.

2) lift your chest up - UP, a lot. Like the book suggests, think of trying to touch someone's hand above your sternum using your chest. Don't be afraid to get the bar closer to your throat. The closer the bar moves towards your face in the press, the more efficient a press it will be. This should allow you to get the bar on your shoulders. Your grip might be a problem if you still can't do it.

Keep your chest up. This cue solves a great deal of problems in all the lifts in Starting Strength.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:38 AM   #3
Thomas Green
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Re: Couple questions re: Squats and Presses

I had the same problem, except when I first learned to low bar squat, my shoulders would really hurt from all the downward force on my arms. After a while I noticed that If I wore a high tech dry-fit shirt, the pain was worse. I think this is because it allows the barbell to slide down your back, putting more stress on the wrists and shoulders. So now I usually go with a tighter fitting cotton shirt to minimize friction. This will allow the bar to "stick" to your back more, putting less pressure on your arms and shoulders. Worked for me at least.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:40 AM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Couple questions re: Squats and Presses


Are your fore arms perpendicular to the plane of the floor at the bottom of the press?
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