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Push Press Symmetry

See attached. I have pretty good symmetry on most other lifts, however I struggle with push press. I have never really had to solve something like this before. The left side of my trap got super pumped afterwards. Does that mean it is making up for a deltoid weakness? I can do 185x3, but have missed 200x1 a few times because of this issue. Do any of you have any advice here? Thanks

Based on isolation exercises, how is the symmetry – strength wise – between your left and right triceps, traps, deltoids, upper pecs? Of those, is there anything that noticeably stands out as being weaker on one side than the other?

Also, do you notice this with just the push press or also with a standing military press? (It could be an issue with uneven leg drive.)

I don’t have answers, most of that is rhetorical. Since the push press is a fairly complex movement, there could be many different factors at play here. Some of it could be systemic where your right side simply has dealt with pushing the weight differently than your left side and some of it could be genuine range-of-motion/flexibility issues with your joints.

When you do figure out where the imbalance is, you can start to remedy it. Another option, in the meanwhile, is to just use dumbbell push press and try to get both sides at an even strength level.

is your shoulder press symmetrical? If it is, could be something wrong with your leg drive

Judging by the photo, your left elbow seems to be sitting farther forward than your right. if that’s the case then this would cause the bar to be further from your body making it more difficult to lift on that side.

As just a guess, it may be that your scapula on that side isn’t locking back, allowing that side to float forward while your shoulder floats up (which it appears to be doing based on the photo). This could be why your trap on that side was pumped.

Ipod on the left side…

[quote]cueball wrote:
Judging by the photo, your left elbow seems to be sitting farther forward than your right.
[/quote]

Noticed this too. Do you notice any lack of rom in your left shoulder by any chance?

Seated shoulder presses are all ok. Standing Military press displays the same symptom, but not as bad. Without the “push” its easier to control form.

Range of motion is fine as far as I can tell. I regularly use a LAX ball and foam roller if that gives you an idea of the attention I pay to that part of the game.

As far as the elbow/arm further forward, that is something that happens when a set gets tough (or I fail, shown above). I guess that is how my body compensates. What I am trying to figure out is which muscles are suspect. Rotator cuff muscles? The deltoid itself? I do like the leg drive idea that was mentioned above. Then I ultimately need to address the weakness.

Maybe I should try and take a video for you guys later this week.

[quote]demonthrall wrote:

As far as the elbow/arm further forward, that is something that happens when a set gets tough (or I fail, shown above). I guess that is how my body compensates. What I am trying to figure out is which muscles are suspect. Rotator cuff muscles? The deltoid itself?[/quote]

Like I mentioned, I think it may be a scapular issue. The muscles that lock it back allowing your elbow to stay to the side and keep your shoulder down may not be strong enough to keep it locked down. It then floats to the side and up causing the above issues, which in turn makes it harder to lift.

I think a video would be a lot better to try and see whats going on. Maybe a heavy set you can barely hit 3 reps on. Maybe then we can see the first rep and then see how your form changes by the third when it’s harder.

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]demonthrall wrote:

As far as the elbow/arm further forward, that is something that happens when a set gets tough (or I fail, shown above). I guess that is how my body compensates. What I am trying to figure out is which muscles are suspect. Rotator cuff muscles? The deltoid itself?[/quote]

Like I mentioned, I think it may be a scapular issue. The muscles that lock it back allowing your elbow to stay to the side and keep your shoulder down may not be strong enough to keep it locked down. It then floats to the side and up causing the above issues, which in turn makes it harder to lift.

I think a video would be a lot better to try and see whats going on. Maybe a heavy set you can barely hit 3 reps on. Maybe then we can see the first rep and then see how your form changes by the third when it’s harder.[/quote]

I will try to take a video next week. Lets pretend for now we think we know which muscles are weak. Do I just train that side heavier? more reps? Obviously it needs to tear down and recover at a faster cyclical rate than my right side, if it is to catch up. Should I do lighter unilateral reps every day? heavier, but once more per week? I am open to ideas and experience.

You’re right handed aren’t you?

It’s pretty obvious, IMO, that your right handed and therefore your right hand/arm is stronger. The discrepancy is only exacerbated when using a greater load.

If you are in fact left handed then I take back everything I just said :wink:

I also LOLed @ the iPod comment. Nicely done.

You grip is way too wide.

Your elbows are out way too wide.

Your feet are way to wide.

Your core is not tight, which makes you lean back instead of getting under the weight. Before you unrack, get you glutes super tight as well as your upper back and abs. With a closer grip you can bring the elbows in.

Once that is all sorted you can figure out what’s failing.

Check out the female foot position and hand position (about half way through the vid)

[quote]demonthrall wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]demonthrall wrote:

As far as the elbow/arm further forward, that is something that happens when a set gets tough (or I fail, shown above). I guess that is how my body compensates. What I am trying to figure out is which muscles are suspect. Rotator cuff muscles? The deltoid itself?[/quote]

Like I mentioned, I think it may be a scapular issue. The muscles that lock it back allowing your elbow to stay to the side and keep your shoulder down may not be strong enough to keep it locked down. It then floats to the side and up causing the above issues, which in turn makes it harder to lift.

I think a video would be a lot better to try and see whats going on. Maybe a heavy set you can barely hit 3 reps on. Maybe then we can see the first rep and then see how your form changes by the third when it’s harder.[/quote]

I will try to take a video next week. Lets pretend for now we think we know which muscles are weak. Do I just train that side heavier? more reps? Obviously it needs to tear down and recover at a faster cyclical rate than my right side, if it is to catch up. Should I do lighter unilateral reps every day? heavier, but once more per week? I am open to ideas and experience.
[/quote]

Well, I guess if you want to ignore other possibilities and have already made up your mind it’s weak prime movers, then you’ve already answered your own question. I’m not so sure that’s the real problem.

Good luck!

First world problems.

[quote]Triceptaurus wrote:
You grip is way too wide.

Your elbows are out way too wide.

Your feet are way to wide.

Your core is not tight, which makes you lean back instead of getting under the weight. Before you unrack, get you glutes super tight as well as your upper back and abs. With a closer grip you can bring the elbows in.

Once that is all sorted you can figure out what’s failing.

Check out the female foot position and hand position (about half way through the vid)

Good stuff, Ill chew on this for a while

Edit* I am indeed left handed!

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]demonthrall wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]demonthrall wrote:

As far as the elbow/arm further forward, that is something that happens when a set gets tough (or I fail, shown above). I guess that is how my body compensates. What I am trying to figure out is which muscles are suspect. Rotator cuff muscles? The deltoid itself?[/quote]

Like I mentioned, I think it may be a scapular issue. The muscles that lock it back allowing your elbow to stay to the side and keep your shoulder down may not be strong enough to keep it locked down. It then floats to the side and up causing the above issues, which in turn makes it harder to lift.

I think a video would be a lot better to try and see whats going on. Maybe a heavy set you can barely hit 3 reps on. Maybe then we can see the first rep and then see how your form changes by the third when it’s harder.[/quote]

I will try to take a video next week. Lets pretend for now we think we know which muscles are weak. Do I just train that side heavier? more reps? Obviously it needs to tear down and recover at a faster cyclical rate than my right side, if it is to catch up. Should I do lighter unilateral reps every day? heavier, but once more per week? I am open to ideas and experience.
[/quote]

Well, I guess if you want to ignore other possibilities and have already made up your mind it’s weak prime movers, then you’ve already answered your own question. I’m not so sure that’s the real problem.

Good luck![/quote]

No, Im just talking out loud to keep the thread going.

[quote]demonthrall wrote:
See attached. I have pretty good symmetry on most other lifts, however I struggle with push press. I have never really had to solve something like this before. The left side of my trap got super pumped afterwards. Does that mean it is making up for a deltoid weakness? I can do 185x3, but have missed 200x1 a few times because of this issue. Do any of you have any advice here? Thanks [/quote]

Probably just have a rock in one of yours shoes…problem solved.

[quote]ironmanzvw wrote:

[quote]demonthrall wrote:
See attached. I have pretty good symmetry on most other lifts, however I struggle with push press. I have never really had to solve something like this before. The left side of my trap got super pumped afterwards. Does that mean it is making up for a deltoid weakness? I can do 185x3, but have missed 200x1 a few times because of this issue. Do any of you have any advice here? Thanks [/quote]

Probably just have a rock in one of yours shoes…problem solved.[/quote]

Is that why my left ball hangs lower?