When lifting a barbell overhead, you have an option of a simple shoulder press or a complex jerk. The shoulder press is mainly for hypertrophy. In the middle of the complexity of a jerk, lies the push press which is an excellent CrossFit workout for every athlete. Looking at it from a physical standpoint, the push press is important in helping you develop a stable trunk while at the same time highlighting deficiencies in your mobility. They also help you to train heavy loads overhead in a proper strength endurance format. Push press is dynamic, and it recruits the lower body and trunk, making it an excellent way to push heavy rep schemes way beyond 15 reps. Push Press Training Cues Several training cues can help you perfect push press. Some of them include: The Grip When doing push press, the width of the grip should be slightly outside the shoulders. If you find yourself having a rough time rotating your shoulders externally or you have large biceps, try a wider grip. Some CrossFitters start their push press with the same rack position as that used in a standing shoulder press. This is incorrect because it places your body at a mechanical disadvantage and makes it vulnerable to shudder-to-shoulder injuries. Contrary to the shoulder press, the push press requires that your upper arm be parallel to the floor in a position similar to that of a front squat. This will make your wrist slightly cocked, and the barbell well gripped. Prepare to Dip The push press uses the lower body and trunk in a dynamic way to get the barbell overhead. For this reason, the setup needs to be different from the press. The goal here is to maintain a stacked spinal column while at the same time exhibiting force throughout the lift. To achieve this, take a wide stance with your feet externally rotated and toes out. The stance you take should be similar to that of the front squat CrossFit exercise. The Dip Before heading to the dip and drive, take a large belly breath and hold it. This will not only protect your lower back but also help in facilitating a transfer of energy from the legs to the barbell via the trunk. When beginning the dip, flex slightly at the knees as you push them out in the same way you should do in a squat. This is meant to be a quick movement because it is shallow and violent. The Drive This is nothing more than a redirection force. Performing the drive is hugely dependent on creating tense musculature throughout your trunk and legs as you quickly extend your knees, hip, and ankles. Putting it Overhead The moment you initiate the drive, the barbell should then hop upwards. This is where you need to utilize your upper body and finish the lift. Compared to the other phases, this is a rather weightless phase you should finish by rotating the arms into a similar position as that of a shoulder press. When the bar is knocked out and your feet stable and flat, you can lower your barbell to its original rack position. Push press is a specific CrossFit training tool whose purpose and the outcome will be determined by how well you execute it.
Almost every CrossFit athlete knows the benefit of the barbell workout. However, not everyone is aware that the size and weight of the lifting bar can significantly affect the effectiveness of their exercises. Among the CrossFit WODs that involves some type of lifting include strongman, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and other exercises. The Men’s, Women’s, and Youth Lifting Bars The bar that you find in most gyms today is the 20kg men’s bar. This doesn’t mean that manufacturers do not produce other types of weightlifting bars. You may find other bars measuring 15kgs and other 10kgs. One of the easiest ways to distinguish between male and female weightlifting bars is the absence of knurling at the center of the female bars. The following are some of the specifications that will help you further distinguish the different types of bars. • Men’s barbells usually measure 2.2 meters in length, 28 millimeters in diameter, and 20 kilograms in weight.• Women’s barbells measure 2.01 meters in length, 25 millimeters in diameter, and 15 kilograms in weight.• Lastly, youth barbells measure 1.7 meters in length, 25 millimeters in diameter, and 10 kilograms in weight. Features You Should Consider There are several features which you should bear in mind when buying a barbell for your CrossFit training routine. Some of these include: Whip of the Bar The whip refers to the ends of the bar which bounce off at the end of a phase of a lift or a repetition. The ends of the bar are usually moving even when the lifter is stationary. The main elements in determining the amount of whip include the material used in making the bar. The thickness of the plates may also affect the whip the athlete can generate. For instance, bumper plates spread the load on the collar of the bar making it behave differently from how it would have behaved if calibrated weight plates were used. Barbell Sleeves The sleeves are part of the barbell and determine the spin the bar will have. The spin is permitted through the use of bushings or bearings. Bushings are normally placed between the sleeve and the shaft and offer low friction. Bearings, on the other hand, offer a much faster, quieter, and smoother spin. They are made from metal balls or small needles which roll within the sleeve. Barbell Strength There are two main measurements which determine barbell strength, and these include tensile strength and yield strength. Yield strength refers to the amount of weight required to bend and deform the bar permanently. Tensile strength is basically the breaking point of the barbell, and it is measured in pounds per square inch. When looking for a good weightlifting barbell, go for one with ratings of 165,000 PSI and above. Load Capacity This is determined by the length of the sleeve. The width of the plate is the biggest determining factor that affects load capacity. Compared to cast iron gym plates, competition powerlifting weight plates are much thinner. The reason is that in powerlifting disciplines, much greater loads are handled. Olympic weightlifting bars do not take up as much load because the load potential is a lot lesser. This is why the barbells must be relatively wider and designed to absorb shock arising from the plates being dropped from overhead. Other factors to consider include the finish on the sleeves and bars, and knurling. Getting the right weightlifting barbell is quite challenging, but when you have it, your workouts will be awesome.