Overhead!

Pressing large loads overhead is essential to developing strength and power, transfers beautifully to useful work outside the gym, and when learned in it’s more explosive forms of the push press and push jerk, incoprporates coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance, thereby conferring upon the user tremendous amounts of athleticism.  To learn and master the weighted overhead movements is to participate in the oldest barbell movements known.  By virtue of force applied throughout the kinetic chain (parts of the body involved in transmitting force from one place to another) everything between the feet and hands get worked to some extent.  Therefore the overhead lifts are not only arm and shoulder exercises, but whole body strengthening and stabilizing ones as well.

Shown below are Coach Greg Glassman’s excellent torso observations for initiating the jumping protion of the push press, push jerk, and split jerk.

 

Whether push-pressing or jerking, the dip and drive should keep the torso perpendicular to the ground. The explosive potential of the perpendicular torso is a recurring theme and crucial to big cleans, snatches, jerks, push-press, vertical leap, and throw for height. None of these movements is the result of a hip thrust. Developing the push-press, then the push-jerk, and finally hang cleans and snatches without the chest coming forward at all provides essential training and practice for developing maximal explosive power.

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