In practicing the bent press, I would recommend that you start at a low poundage and work up to near your limit: Each time you lift, think of only one pointer and do that correctly. Forget about all the other ones. This will make it so you will be able to perform this one pointer without thinking of it. Then, take another one, etc.

I am listing a number of pointers that you should master before you consider your style correct:

  1. In rocking the bar to the shoulder, get the bar close to the neck.
  2. Handle the bar as rapidly as possible at the shoulder when you turn it around and set the elbow on the upper back. Speed here will help your strength later in the lift. 
  3. Turn the bar way around so that the end on the floor is at the wall in back of you before you start to press.
  4. Look directly to the back before starting to press.
  5. Set the elbow upon the ledge formed by the spinor erector and external oblique muscles
  6. Keep the muscles in the lifting side contracted.
  7. Do not relax the arm at the wrist, but hold it straight.
  8. Do not relax the rest of the arm. 
  9. Do not let the shoulder drop: That is, keep your trapezius muscle on the lifting side contracted.
  10. Keep the legs in a parallel line. If one must be advanced, let it be the non-lifting leg a very little.
  11. Keep the knee on lifting side locked.
  12. KEEP THE HIP PUSHED, NOT OUT, BUT BACK. INSTEAD OF THRUSTING THE LIFTING HIP OUT AS FOR A SIDE PRESS, THRUST IT BACK AS YOU FALL TO THE FRONT, LOOKING UP TO THE CEILING.
  13. Both feet pointed forward should be best: However, this does not always work best for all lifters. But, as a rule, try to keep them pointed to the front.
  14. As you fall forward, keep the forearm perpendicular to the floor.
  15. As you fall forward, fall no faster than your balance will permit.
  16. Do not attempt to press your arm from your side.
  17. Keep your arm from sliding off from your chest box, especially to the back.
  18. Do not bend the lifting leg until the arm is locked under the weight. At first this will seem impossible to do, but practice will clear things up. 
  19. After the lifting arm is locked, lower the hips while you support the body on the knee on the non-lifting side.
  20. As you come erect, press upon the knee with the free hand.
  21. In holding the weight over head, be sure to bring the feet together, as the body will not be straight until this is accomplished. 

These 21 points will serve as a training program. Master each one of them as you lift.

  • Harold Ansorge, How to Bent Press Correctly, 1943.

 


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