The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Four!!! Part C - Presses

Presses are another group of great basic movements. They encompass a fairly large range of motion along many degrees of freedom. Basically the presses are a "push" done with the arms usually in concert with other large muscle groups such as the pecs/delts etc. Presses range from decline bench press to bench press to incline bench press up to standing shoulder press. They can even be done in conjunction with the legs and hips for a more dynamic and complex variation such as the push press and jerk. Other more complex versions include the Sotts press and Handstand pushup (an inverted standing press), both of which are very demanding on the core. These are only a few of the many types of presses. When it comes to Presses for strength we are concerned with only two factors 1.) the number of muscle groups involved in which case more is always better and 2.) How much demand/load can we put on these muscles. For example anytime you are standing rather than sitting or lying to do a press you are using more muscles (you need to stabilize yourself) it is therefore of greater benefit to overall strength. This is why standing press is more functional (useful) than bench press. Don't get me wrong I love bench press and it should be in everybodies program because of reason 2 the demand it puts on the muscles as we do bench press with much larger weights. But unless you shove people a lot it is far more useful in every day life to be able to lift heavy boxes etc. over your head. Lastly, stay away from isolation presses like tricept press and french press that just work one muscle group as they are almost useless (They don't use a lot of muscle groups and you can't use a large load). Leave them to the bodybuilders who want to just look good and be weak, we want to look good and be strong!

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