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THE PRESS (W) : BEST EXERCISE FOR UPPER BODY STRENGTH Learn the press exercise from U.S. Olympic & Team USA coach, Harvey Newton. Since the press lift was eliminated from weightlifting competition in the early 1970s it is possible for lifters to develop serious muscle imbalances. Today’s lifters quickly develop the lower body and the back, but there is very little training emphasis for the arms and shoulders. Lack of upper ... body strength may challenge the holding of heavy weights overhead, particularly in the jerk. So, it is important for lifters to maintain some training volume associated with pressing movements. Some sort of pressing should make up about 10-12% of a lifter's monthly training load. The simplest movement is the press, and the press is part of the sequence used to successfully learn the jerk. It is best performed by taking the barbell from a pair of squat racks, stepping backward, performing the lift, and then returning the bar to the shoulders and to the rack by stepping forward. First, raise the shoulders and clavicles to create a shelf on which to rest the bar. Move the head backward slightly so the bar path is vertical. When viewed from the side, the elbows are in front of the barbell, but not so much that the upper arms are parallel to the ground. Inhale, and then push the barbell straight overhead while partially exhaling. The end position is with the weights over the shoulder joints when viewed from the side. Hesitate for a second or two, and then slowly lower the weights while inhaling. Rest the bar in the original starting position, then repeat for the desired number of repetitions.