Monday, January 01, 2007
Strength is a skill.
I have not done any high tension exercises for a long time as they seemed to cause more body problems then they solved. I figured I had plenty of strength in reserve from all my years of powerlifting.I stopped doing windmills,side presses, squats and deadlifts. I even dropped the press as it seemed to cause my gimpy right shoulder all kinds of impingment problems. The only overhead work I've been getting is snatches.
Since I have discovered that palms up chins and overhead hangs "puts" my shoulder back in the right place fairly easily, I have been wondering if I could press again. Playing around with windmills the other day I was blown away by how WEAK my overhead holds have become. I had even dropped the snatch holds and waiters walks I was doing as it seemed to require more rehab than it was worth.
So today, with another AM workout( I slacked off today and took another holiday off!) I wanted to see if I could figure out how to press without too much pain. Or at least whether the chins would put the shoulder back in after.
Started off with push presses which I thought might be better but they were not. As Pavel says they make it too easy to get loose which is not what I needed. I figured there might be a very specific groove that did not hurt.And I was right.It was just a much different body position than I had imagined.
I realized that I had been trying to do a strict military press and I wasn't kicking my hip under enough to really support the weight. It happened because I have( had) strong shoulders and 35 years of pressing things uner my belt and didnt realize there was more to wedging under the weight than just pressing it. It creates the base foundation of support to not only press the weight, but press it strongly.And when you have biceps impingment if you do it wrong you get a correction 'real quick'.
Pavel talks about this in his classic first book, The Russian Kettlebell Challenge;how it is vital when pressing heavy weights overhead to shift your hips under the bell to provide foundational support as well s pull the shoulder DOWN as you press up. But I had just let that go as I tried to just press the weight. After all it was so light. With my shoulder the way it is that was just not going to happen.especially on the negative rep.
You have to develop the scapula retractors to be at least as strong as your traps or you will get a biceps impingment eventually.And to do that you have to pull down as you press and keep that forearm totally vertical throughout.
In fact, I used the negative as the test as to whether to groove was right. If it was, the negative didnt hurt. If it wasnt, it did.I also had to turn more than I imagined to the right to get my forearm vertical throughout the press, another key component. I also had to stare at my forearm throughout the entire rep to guarantee it being perfectly vertical.
I forgot about how many presses I was going to do( or wanted to do) and instead focused on practicing the skill of pressing correctly. I didnt train but practiced ,searching for the right combination of position and tension to press the bell pain free with my entire body, not just my arm. I focused on rooting hard the entire time.
KB Press( only one clean per rep)
44x5/5x2 ( these were mainly sussing out the right groove)
Jumping chins( scap trap hang after set)
6 sets of 5+ 10 sec scap trap hang at finish
man these are getting EASY. Stretched out my left forearm and wrist didnt hurt during chins with BOTH arm supinated. I was barely using any leg drive to get started and the negative was easy as well.
Rack walks with16 kg
2000 feet in 200 foot laps/ then an arm switch.
these were almost non stop, best they have ever felt. so much help with my gait. I love training first thing!The next question is do I add in Handstands or Arm bars to help increase ROM? We'll play with both later today! I have to whole day off , woo hoo!
datsit,staying loose and maybe getting a little stronger too.