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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 09-03-2007, 08:36 AM   #1
Timothy Walsh
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Shoulder Press

I have been doing CF for roughly 2 months now, and have done 2 CFT's in that time. I have added 30 lbs to my dead lift. My squat weight has not changed, however i am able to go much deeper for better form than before. My shoulder press on the other hand has not improved. I was struggling to get 125lbs up and failed 1/2 way through.

I was just wondering what i can do or practice to help improve on it. Should i just start adding shoulder presses into the CFWU when i can? My father offered a suggestion of shrugs.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:05 AM   #2
Elliot Royce
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Re: Shoulder Press

Push presses (dip before you push in order to get some momentum) then really focus on the negative movement.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:50 AM   #3
Theresa Meyer
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Re: Shoulder Press

To get better at the shoulder press, you should perform the shoulder press. I also agree that related movements will help--push press, push jerk. Shrugs are very 'Weider-esque" and I would not do them to improve my shoulder press, but if it works for you, then go for it. I typically do some shoulder presses a few times a week after I've recovered from the WOD--about 10 minutes or so. Sometimes I mix in squats and deadlifts as well.
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
Brandon Oto
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Re: Shoulder Press

I've found at times that the WoDs didn't include enough shoulder strength work (especially if you can't do HSPUs) to make big gain. You can add it in...
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
Wade Smith
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Re: Shoulder Press

I've been working up to a HSPU starting with bent leg assist, then straight leg angled against wall, and so on. Each time I ramp it up, my shoulders are forced to do the strength work to hold my body up (and up/down mvmt as well). I guess all that to say that if you can't do a full HSPU, try to get as close as possible and work from there. It beats regular presses & machines. Plus, the people in the gym will think you're insane and that's good enough reason right there.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:23 PM   #6
Charles Applin
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Re: Shoulder Press

Obviously, watch the Rippetoe videos on the press. Focus on form will definately help. Core work which will improve your form.

Now for the raw strength: I'm implementing HSPU into my CFWU subbing it in for the dips. I was doing the feet on the Smith Machine, but that did not bring the best improvements. Now I'm using weights under my head. Last week, I had 4 plates (about 1.5 inches each) under my head and I did 2 rounds of CFWU with 10 reps HSPU nose to plate. This week, I'm doing 3 plates. Next week will be 2 followed by 1 so long as I can finish both rounds of 10 reps. If I can pull that off, I'll start putting my hands on the plates so that I have to press deeper. I'm noticing this is MUCH better than the smith machine as you're working your whole body's form.

Let's face it, you get to where you can do 2 or 3 rounds of HSPUx10 to x15, your press is going to improve along with Snatch, Jerk, Overhead Squat, etc.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Shoulder Press

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Originally Posted by Charles Applin View Post
Now for the raw strength: I'm implementing HSPU into my CFWU subbing it in for the dips.
I am doing the same thing! Although today I did like three full ROM HSPU, then seven HSPU with my feet on a bench. Then 8-2, then 9-1 (cuz of failure).

Would you recommend limiting ROM, or reducing the load like I am doing?
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:58 PM   #8
Peter Dell'Orto
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Re: Shoulder Press

When I hit weights and stall, I usually micro-load. Go back to a weight I can do for my goal reps (even if that rep count is 1), and then add a tiny bit of extra weight and do it. Slow, but it works. Means I have workout journals with stuff like "3 x 5/63.1 kg" and "3x5/42.875kg" listed, but often the jump to the next weight is too much for me to maintain in good form. There was recently a discussion of fractional plates over in the equipment forum - there are dedicated plates, or people use rigged-up chains. I use extra collars, there is always room for a few more on the end of a long bar when I train, although it's tricker on plate-loading dumbells.

One other assistance exercise for the shoulder press is the overhead lockout. You get in a power rack, and put the weight about 3-4" from your maximum overhead position in the press, and do reps from there. It's a partial movement so you can handle more weight. This helps if you can get the weigh up most of the way but can't lock it out. Generally this one is done seated, and racking weights that high for a standing press might be too tricky. I know I'd have trouble finding a rack to do it in, seated or standing.

The HSPU during your warmup sounds like a good idea. If not, you could always do some shoulder presses during your warmup, dumbbell or barbell, at a weight that requires effort but isn't especially taxing. Not sure if that's something people usually recommend but I can't see how it's a bad thing. Just don't get overzealous and set your "warmup" weight to your 3RM or something.

Anyway, hope that helps. My shoulder press is stuck at a pathetic 50kg now, so I feel your pain even if I can't push up the weight you're doing.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:45 AM   #9
Brandon Oto
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Re: Shoulder Press

Are there really people who can put the weight past their head but can't lock it out? The first part is ALWAYS the hardest for me.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:01 AM   #10
Peter Dell'Orto
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Re: Shoulder Press

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Are there really people who can put the weight past their head but can't lock it out? The first part is ALWAYS the hardest for me.
There are. I've had problems near the end of a set where I just can't get it all the way up. The initial push is the hardest for me, but I've failed on overhead pressing where I couldn't lock it out. Not sure what a good equivalent of the overhead lock would be for the bottom - it seems like if you can get it moving there, you may as well finish the rep. But I may just be lacking imagination here.

That reminds me - the other way you can work shoulder presses is to use one-armed dumbbell presses. Give yourself some variety, get those extra stabilizers going, isolate the weak side from the strong side, make them both work.
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