Why do we Floor Press?
Like the bench press, the floor press is a pure upper body movement. When you floor press, you are not able to drive your legs like you can on the bench press. This forces you to use maximum effort on the upper body muscles, mainly the pectorals, triceps and shoulders.
But why do we floor press? Well the biggest reason why we utilize the floor press in any weightlifting program is to decrease shoulder pain. Most athletes when bench pressing flare their elbows outwards causing stress on the shoulders, the floor press reduces extension at the shoulder joint and the likeliness of injury. Also, the floor press decreases stress on your lower back. When most athletes set-up on the bench press, they increase the arch in their lower back during the movement. If you have poor mobility in your hips it can wrench on your lower back further.
So let’s floor press!
First we set up the barbell. The athlete should lay on their back with their eyelevel directly under the bar with their knees bent and feet planted on the ground. When setting up the barbell most of us use a squat rack with j-cups, you want the height of the barbell set up so that when you lift off you barley scrap the j-cups.
Where do I put my hands?
To find an appropriate grip, start with going shoulder width apart. The goal with the grip is to keep your elbows tucked at a 45 degree angle to maximize your lift when pressing. When gripping the bar your wrist should be in line with your elbows, straight under the bar. Now when choosing a grip width, a couple of factors may affect the position you will want to go with. Such as your shoulder flexibility and any prior injuries. The best thing to do is to start just outside the shoulder width grip and move inwards or outwards depending on your shoulder mobility.
Once you have found your position, think about pulling the bar straight out from the rack. If you press the bar off the rack too much you lose you upper back stability. Now the starting position of the bar is where you want the lift to end. It sounds weird, but this will help with stability.
One of the biggest problems I see with lifters is that they are in a rush to complete the movement. TAKE YOUR TIME, let the bar settle over your lower chest with your arms locked out at full extension. Find your position and squeeze the bar as hard as you can, try to break it then spread it apart. This will screw your shoulder blades into the ground and give you a nice flat back to maintain stability.
Think about activating your lats and controlling the bar on the way down. Don’t let the barbell control you and the descent of the movement, this will help add stability throughout the lift. The descent ends when your upper arms are flush with the ground.
Stay tight and press. Pretty simple from here. Make sure you keep your elbows tucked, wrist in line with your elbows directly under the bar. Finish the movement with your arms locked out at full extension to where you started.
By Jake Eggers
Your Mental Game
Genna Smith and I recently attended a Sport Phycology Seminar, presented by Mike Caruso, Pro-Strongman competitor. Here are the ‘knowledge nuggets’ from that seminar.
The brain is a muscle – if you work this muscle it will improve and grow. Tommy Kono, an American Weightlifter, developed a model to successful weightlifting, where 20% of your success is based on power development, 30% is based on technique, and 50% of your success is based on your mindset. Three things you can start doing to improve your ‘mental game’ are visualization, eliminate negativity, and train with a purpose.
Visualization is mental imagery. Devoting time to visualization will make you a more successful athlete. One tool you can use is to watch videos of elite athletes and start to see yourself as those people. Studies have shown that visualization activates the same regions of the brain as physically performing the activity. If you practice visualization before your workouts you will find that you have more energy and you will believe you can achieve what you’ve pictured in your mind is possible.
Second, eliminating negativity from your training and your life will help you create a positive mental framework. Creating an optimal training environment will yield significant gains. One strategy is to train with athletes that are better than you. Pairing up with another athlete during training will elevate your performance. An example of an optimal training environment is at Westside Barbell, which is an “invitation only” elite training facility in Columbus, Ohio that was created by power lifter, Louie Simmons. At Westside Barbell they believe weightlifting is not an individual sport. They commonly have eight athletes working on one bar, and each athlete will take a turn making the lift.
Negativity is draining and you have the choice to surround yourself with positive people as well as eliminating negativity from your life. Everyone experiences times when they are tired, unmotivated, and depressed – this is natural. There is learned optimism and learned helplessness. You choose your mindset. Caruso said ‘you can learn to struggle or you can learn to thrive.’ Always look for a sliver lining in failure, where you learn from your mistakes and move forward.
Lastly, train with a purpose every day. It helps to set daily goals because small success everyday will lead to more success and positivity. Start by setting an intention for each workout:
Today, I’m not going to count the weight.
Today, I’m not going to stop on the run, even if I have to walk, I won’t stop moving.
Today, I’m going to listen to Brittany Spears Pandora Radio and have fun during my workout.
By Conner Edelbrock
Water is the cornerstone of life. We can’t live too long without, and it’s the one thing we all think about during grueling workouts. But even with its heavy importance, many people find themselves suffering the effects of dehydration. The effects can range from muscle cramps, light-headedness, dizzy spells, hindered performance, and low energy. Something that is so simple really has a large influence on how we live, and perform, every single day. Water is to us as gasoline is to a car. Without it, we surely won’t be operating too efficiently to perform well. The rule of thumb for water intake per day is eight ounces of water, eight times a day, which equates to be about a half gallon. For active people, adding on another 24-36 ounces of water should be sufficient amount of hydration to help prepare your body for whatever the day holds.
The added benefits from proper hydration include: increased metabolizing of fat cells, increased GI functionality, leaner muscle tone (it won’t make you leaner, but the increased hydration also increases muscle contraction by carrying more oxygen to the muscle tissues), healthier skin, and more energy throughout the day (dehydration causes the body to fatigue faster). Also, sleep will become more restful, and your body will be able to regulate its body temperature better, making you feel more comfortable in any kind of weather.
If drinking the proper amount of water is difficult for you, don’t try and knock it all out in one sitting. A way that I found to be easiest is to carry a refillable water container (shaker bottle, for example), which gives you a measurement of how much it can hold, and to try and drink one every hour to hour and a half throughout my day. Once it becomes habit, drinking water will become so easy you’ll wonder how you’ve gone this long without drinking enough.
Remember, for our bodies to run properly, we need to give it the fuel to maintain normal body functions, along with delivering crucial components to recovering from workouts, sleeping, and digesting food. Half gallon of water is the minimum a normal person needs, so up that to ¾ gallon, and you’ll start seeing some positive changes.
By Erich Focht
Let’s review the ground rules. Your coaches will do their best to remind you of these simple things as well.
- If athletes cannot make the class time they are reserved for, canceling of reservation is a must.
- All athletes need to be relatively warmed up by the start time of your class.
- Warm up using the designated area until class starts.
- Equipment should be cared for and put away correctly, after all other athletes have finished their workout
- DO NOT walk near another athlete lifting. Wait until they are done to pass.
- Record weights and scores into Wodify; doing this will track individuals progress and help to figure out which weight you should be using.
- Finish post workout cool down (mobility) within 15 minutes of your class finishing. This will ensure the current classes focus. All other “extra” activities can be done during Open Gym.
- Work hard, forget about the problems of your day, and give it your all, every day.
- Do not cheat. Do every rep, with solid technique, no matter the time it takes. You only cheat yourself of the opportunity to become a better athlete and person. There is no honor in cheating, what joy is there in a victory you didn’t earn? If needed, scale the movement to something sustainable.
- Be patient. Accidents, injuries, and lack of progress usually come as a result of impatience. Don’t be greedy. Slow down. Ask questions. Ask for help. Upward progression in strength, speed, and ability will come.
- Be welcoming and supportive. That is who we are.