COLUMNS: Exercise Technique
John Graham, MS, CSCS,*D, FNSCA
TYPE OF EXERCISE
Upper body and multijoint.
Deltoid, trapezius, serratus anterior, triceps brachii.
- Position a standard weightlifting bar at chest level in a squat or power rack (not pictured).
- Load barbell evenly on both sides and secure weights with collars.
- Position the feet flat on the floor.
- The head, shoulders, and upper back should be erect.
- Grasp the barbell shoulder-width apart with a closed pronated grip.
- Inhale before initiating the movement.
- Lift the barbell off the rack and rest the barbell on the upper chest.
ASCENT (UPWARD MOVEMENT)
- Begin the motion by pressing the barbell upward.
- Exhale as the resistance passes the sticking point.
- Avoid arching the lower back or moving the feet or buttocks from their stationary position.
- Keep the wrists rigid and the forearms perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other.
- Continue pressing the barbell upward until the elbows are fully extended, but not forcefully locked.
- At the completion of the lift, the barbell should be in line with the supporting joints (i.e., wrist, elbow, shoulder).
- Keep the body rigid throughout the ascent.
DESCENT (DOWNWARD MOVEMENT)
© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association
- Begin the descent by lowering the resistance in a slow, controlled manner toward the chest.
- The elbows will move down past the shoulder and slightly away from the body.
- Wrists should be kept firm and rigid.
- Forearms are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor.
- Lower the resistance to the upper chest; avoid bouncing the resistance off the chest.
- Keep the head, shoulders/upper back area and buttocks erect and the feet securely on the floor.
- Keep the body rigid throughout the descent.
- Inhale before initiating the ascent for the next repetition.