Remove this ad

Lead

Jul 23 09 2:18 AM

Tags : :

I was watching that guy on youtube again today doing the back press with 10 springs. I notice a fair gap between his hand and shoulder on each side which gives a fair bit of pressing power from the starting position.

When I'm doing the back press my hands are tightly touching my shoulders as I have quit a wide back, I'm a 45" chest when relaxed. I find starting with my hands that close to my shoulders quite awkward and I think that's maybe why I'm stuck on 6 springs. I'll experiment later and add a couple of inches between the handles and see what difference it makes.

Paul.

Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:36 PM. Edited 1 time

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Remove this ad

#1 [url]

Jul 23 09 4:04 AM

I've got a few spare chest expander handles so I took some of the spring clips off and added an extra spring clip to the end of each spring on the set I use for my back press. That only gave me an extra 3" overall but it did allow me to press 7 springs instead of 6. My hands are still closer to my shoulders than the guy on youtube though. It's amazing how a very small adjustment can allow me to add another spring.

Paul.

Quote    Reply   

#2 [url]

Jul 23 09 6:50 PM

Well, for mslef actually, I have to "pre-pull" the expander to even get it to the right position springs running across my upper back. Thus my hands are tightly held at my shoulders. Yesterday I realized that I was bargging about my BP abilities or maybe it's tha fact I skipped 3-4 workouts recently in favor of heavy work at home. Bottom line I could manage 5 springs easily though I haven't passed 7 reps. Guess it's time to get back to my heavy duty strand-pulling training sessions

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Jul 24 09 4:28 PM

Nope, it was work around the house... as a matter of fact my brother and I were making a pavement in the backyard, so it was hard labour in 92 degrees. You know we mixed the conrete and then molded in to the formwork etc-etc. It was about 20 ft long of pavement only, but took the whole weekend to finish it :S The day after and especially on Monday I had such muscle soreness that even my nose hurt. I had every muscle in my body aching from the lactic acid...

As for weight sets, I brought my old dumbbel set's disks home and hang them from my neck harness for "hardcore" traning of my neck...

Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:52 PM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Feb 11 13 6:00 PM

Back Press Question

On many of the books I've read, the Back Press seems to be the pull that one can do with the most weight.


However, I can, to a significant degree, lift more in a One Arm Press than a Back Press. Is this common?

I am looking at the pull length, and it is not a matter of locking out, but of the entire lift. I can OAP resistance multiple times (5-10) that I can barely Back Press. 

I am trying to determine why this is, and what benefit there would be in focusing on the BP or OAP. Observations and suggestions welcome!

For the record, I previously focused on overhead pressing, and that was my primary reason for taking up strands in the first place. I am trying to determine if I should focus on the back press, or if the OAP is better for physical ability overall. 

Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:42 PM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Feb 11 13 10:48 PM

Re: Back Press Question

One reason, which you might have taken into account, is that often back presses were not done in a very strict symmetric style, i.e. there was often one hand stationary and one hand pressing, as in the usual cable overhead press, and there was also some side-tilt.

Also, although both pressses favour short arms, the back press favors a wide back especially.

Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:43 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

Feb 11 13 10:55 PM

Re: Back Press Question

In the back press, many pullers are limited by getting the cable set into the correct starting position for the press. If the cable set is short and the puller has a broad upper back, he'll need to stretch the cables before he can even begin pressing (via a scapular shrug). With high resistances this is very inconvenient.

When I used Lifeline cables for the back press, I'd have to use a sort of shoulder shimmy with plenty of body English to wiggle into starting position. On heavier resistances I often failed at this step, or would need several attempts to get it right. As soon as the cables were in the correct position, I could press out pretty much any resistance. With time I got better at this (as my scapular and shoulder flexibility increased), but it never felt comfortable, and I always felt limited in how much I could back press. It's also one of the rare instances where a cable pull can lead to shoulder injury or sprain.

Also with the Lifeline cables, my OAP was always close to my BP (only a little lower). You probably feel more comfortable with the overhead position due to your previous experience with barbell pressing. There is no way to replicate the BP with weights. I'm sure if you stick with the BP with cables for a longer period of time it will eventually exceed your OAP, even if you train both concurrently.

I don't do OAPs any more (as I do overhead presses with weights regularly) and use the HOOK for back presses to really load up the resistance toward the end of the movement. Neither is "better than the other" - I'd recommend specializing on both if you're not lifting barbells and dumbbells.

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Feb 12 13 12:45 AM

Consider this

Do recall, first, that a Back Press is a two arm motion so that each hand (arm) as it is extended toward a total lockout has to absorb the added elastic tension developing from the other hand moving away from it in the opposite direction. By contrast, a One Arm Press finds the opposing hand "anchored" to an immovable spot, the hip, and the ultimate stretch is not quite as great.

With cables, those extra few inches of stretch are the most resistant.

So, in a back press, each arm is exposed to the same much greater resistance owing to the added length of the stretch.

Think about it a bit and you'll get the logic here.

One interesting experiment some of you may want to try, not so much to prove my point but just as an alternative style of back pressing, would be to set up traditionally with cables across the upper back, then extend just one arm laterally while holding the other hand statically as an anchor. Nothing says one can't do one arm back presses and many of you will find that if you simply anchor the opposing side to something like a wall hook and step into position for a one arm back press that you can actually overcome some of the style weaknesses owing to a lack of good flexibility. A little practice this way with each arm independently, then, would allow you to return to normal back presses and be much better at them. 

Just generally speaking about pressing angles, the old bent press proves that the pressing motion "away from the body" is one heck of a strong angle, more so than an overhead press. Part of this has to do with the fact that the upper back serves as a strong base to press from, that and the shoulder in a strict overhead press is more of a fulcrum than in a back press or bent press with a barbell where it seems to be distributed. An analogy here might be comparing the back and overhead press to a bench squat and a regular squat.

Some ideas anyway; both are fine movements with the back press being the more important of the two owing to its uniqueness to cables where as overhead presses can be done with weights.

Cheers!  Brad Reid

Quote    Reply   

#10 [url]

Feb 12 13 2:36 AM

Re: Back Press Question

Thanks for the thoughts.


I have a relatively wide back and shoulders, with long skinny arms. 

I use LifelineUSA cables and the start of the Back Press is substantially under tension.

That may be why I observe this, in addition to my focus on overhead pressing in the past (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, handstand pushups, etc. If it existed, I tried to lift it over my head). 

I will evaluate the use of the Back Press. Due to the angle of the arms, it seems to be useful in doing pressing movements like one arm pushups. 

Brad Reid wrote:Do recall, first, that a Back Press is a two arm motion so that each hand (arm) as it is extended toward a total lockout has to absorb the added elastic tension developing from the other hand moving away from it in the opposite direction. By contrast, a One Arm Press finds the opposing hand "anchored" to an immovable spot, the hip, and the ultimate stretch is not quite as great.

With cables, those extra few inches of stretch are the most resistant.

So, in a back press, each arm is exposed to the same much greater resistance owing to the added length of the stretch.

Think about it a bit and you'll get the logic here.

I do not think the ending position of the BP is much different in length than the OAP, but I see where the two arms pushing (especially with my short cables) away from each other would be significant. Thanks.

Also, I think I enjoy overhead pressing to the extent I do not really realize how much focus I have put into it over the years. I do not think this leads to an "imbalance" per se, but it would explain why there is such a difference. 

The BP is more comfortable to do, as the "holding" arm in the OAP is under a lot of tension and I am not comfortable with that for high volume. That is how I sprained my elbow a while back. The holding arm twisted under tension. 

Maybe I will get some iron, some dumbbells (I prefer one arm lifting overhead), then I could use them to add weight to pullups too. Then I could focus on the BP.


Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:44 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad

#11 [url]

Feb 12 13 3:44 AM

pull lengths

Yes, the distance of the two pulls is hard to know but each of us could measure such things, if necessasry.

Go here and then scroll down about 3/4s of the page to a posterior shot of a young lady with long dark hair doing a OAP:

http://www.leviticus11.com/cbls.htm

This is Mike Brown's website by the way.

I want to note a couple of things:

1) You get an idea of what the OAP stretch looks like if one drops the anchor hand down as low as possible;
2) Typically, though, the anchor hand is held against the hip before the stretch begins owing to the length of most cable sets, one arm making all of the stretch;
3) Once the press begins, most folks don't extend the anchor down if it was at the hip, but hold it statically.
4) Interestingly, she uses the most common, but least effective anchor hand position. The handle is better situated with the set rubbing along the inside of the wrist where the thumb "hooks" through the set and the hand then is pressed hard against the hip. It is a much tighter anchor this way.

Well, in the end, any differences will come back to measures of stretches between the two movements.

Brad

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Feb 12 13 4:59 AM

Re: Back Press Question

Brad Reid wrote:
Yes, the distance of the two pulls is hard to know but each of us could measure such things, if necessasry.

I just measured it. I had underestimated the difference. My BP is significantly longer than my OAP (I hold the bottom of the press pressed into my hip). I use LifelineUSA cables, which are short, and I have a broad back and long arms. That must be why I cannot Back Press as much as the literature would indicate relative to my other movements. 

In other news, for measuring, I made a PR in the OAP. I only have one more heavier configuration possible...I may have to get new strands soon.

Quote    Reply   

#13 [url]

Feb 12 13 7:31 AM

measurement

Herr,

Mystery solved! Very good.

My father always did OAPs while seated . . . so I learned that way and it means sort of a hip level anchoring. You apparently are doing them the same way.

Be sure and try the other hand position I was touting for the OAP where you dangle your set down on the anchor side and hook the thump through so that the strands are between the hand and the back, not riding over the top of the arm. Then, press your hand hard against your hip. 

I think after a few sets you will find this to be a much more stable pressing environment. The strands are going to ride over and drag diagonally across the back as you press, one way or the other, but this clears the rubber off of your anchor arm.  It feels much better, turns it into a more powerful exercise.

Finally, on your back press, imagine standing at the edge of a wall, like in a door opening, up against the frame.

If you can rig up a wall anchor then press away from it so that your non-pressing shoulder is stabilized by the door frame, you can really work on different resistances by how far you set up away from the anchor and also really work on flexibility. 

The really great back pressers could squeeze their shoulder tightly together, and in old photos you'd often see their hands almost behind their shoulders at the start of the pressing motion.

With those short cables you pull, you need that sort of flexibility just to set up for the BPs.

Brad

Quote    Reply   

#15 [url]

Feb 15 13 11:08 AM

Re: Back Press Question

Brad Reid wrote:

The really great back pressers could squeeze their shoulder tightly together, and in old photos you'd often see their hands almost behind their shoulders at the start of the pressing motion.

With those short cables you pull, you need that sort of flexibility just to set up for the BPs.

Brad
Luckily, I already have very mobile shoulders. When doing them, I have thought of making my upper body an accordion. When I press out, everything unfolds. 

As for the OAP, I have tried the two ways of holding it for heavy presses. For February, I have been working heavily on pull-up proficiency and strand pulling has taken a back seat, but like I wrote, when I tried the OAP, I got a new PR. I think that is due to the training of the pull-up. I am much more stable and I can hold the other end better now. 

After this week, I may stop doing pull-ups for volume like I am doing. I have reached my goal early and I will probably go for low volume strength training in the pull-up soon now that I have my baseline of ability (goal was to do over 50 pull-ups a day in multiple sets, but since this is a daily goal, one must be fresh at all times). After that, I will be setting up my strand pulling program again. I think the BP will have a place. It is a very comfortable lift, so I think that may be one I do in higher volume. High reps with strands is effective. I was thinking of having a "high volume" day or two each week in addition to my normal low-rep daily practice.

Next up, legs, which fortunately, has little to do with my upper body, so I can do that without backing off strands like I did with the pull-ups.

Dave Reslo wrote:I actually prefer to hold one end of the strand under my foot, it just seems natural to me.
Can you explain what you mean? How do you get your foot involved in the Back Press or One Arm Press with a chest expander?





Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:45 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   

#16 [url]

Feb 15 13 9:02 PM

Re: Back Press Question

I mean I stand on the other end of the cable for overhead pressing (not for back pressing). Since the strand is already stretched, it gives a smoother force curve, though that's not the only reason I like it. It might not suit you if your strands are not long enough to begin with, since you don't want to overstretch them. Actually, since you are interested in low-rep work, I had good results using a method of partials:
http://strandpulling.yuku.com/reply/4883/Improving-hand-overhead-pressing-increasing-ROM-partials

Quote    Reply   

#17 [url]

Feb 16 13 4:14 AM

Re: Back Press Question

I see. My cables are far too short for that. Holding them the way I do, they are already pre-stretched.

Today, I maxed out on the cables I have, but the new cables arrived today. I will be using my old cables until I am more comfortable with my new setup...the new cables will be for next month or the next.

I am also going to be giving a chest expander to someone today that I am helping get in some resemblance of "shape". I also unpacked the kettlebell for her (15 lbs...I never handled such a tiny and light k-bell before, but I swung it for a minute and got my heart rate up a bit...hopefully, it works well for her). The chest expander will be for strengthening shoulders. I am not going to have her pressing this, even if she can. Cables are better for this goal.

If she does what I say, it will work...

Quote    Reply   

#18 [url]

Mar 5 13 8:25 PM

Re: Back Press Question

Kettlebell and Cables combined give a pretty good training.

I can press more over head than i do in the back press, but the back press develops better results in my Dip and Push up reps.

Quote    Reply   

#19 [url]

Mar 8 13 5:03 AM

Re: Back Press Question

Beowulf wrote:
Kettlebell and Cables combined give a pretty good training.

I can press more over head than i do in the back press, but the back press develops better results in my Dip and Push up reps.

And very portable and safe (for what I have her doing). 

I tried doing some dips, and although I am strong in it, I have trouble keeping good form (or maybe it is an issue with my long arms, but my right should keeps rotating into a compromised position), so I think I am not going to do them often. I think the Back Press would be better, as I do intend to improve my ability to do one arm pushups and the angle of the Back Press is similar. 

I have added a day for higher volume for pressing and pulling. The back press and bodyweight pullups are going to be on that day now I think. 

Quote    Reply   

#20 [url]

Mar 10 13 7:46 PM

Re: Back Press Question

Maybe your Pecs are not strong enough for a proper Dip? I would try doing them on a daily basis and also work on my Back Press and One Arm Press, cause all together works in the One Arm Push Up. You need a well rounded shoulder. This a good and effective Workout I did Friday with my buddy.


Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Oct 5 13 10:47 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help