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Powerful Pressing Power AND Core Strength with an Important Lesson

Powerful Pressing Power AND Core Strength With an Important Lesson

In this new article I am going to discuss something that is of great importance.

But first, something really cool.

One Arm Dumbbell Press on Swiss Ball

This movement is awesome for:

  • increasing pressing power
  • improving core strength (anti-rotation, statics / dynamic isometrics)
  • improving shoulder stability

We cycle in this variation once in a while after the lifter / athlete demonstrates proficiency with horizontal and vertical pressing AND horizontal and vertical pulling (*Remember, we must create a balance in the volume of movements).

As the lifter goes through the range of motion of the press there is a torque across their torso that is very significant and this must be stabilized.  Once stabilized and braced and with the shoulder retracted and packed back, the lifter will begin their set.


In the video you’ll hear me instruct John (the second athlete in the video) to switch hands on the press.  During his set I am always observing, instructing and providing lifting cues for form.  I saw his rep was slow and he was losing stability.  Once I see this, I must immediately jump in and instruct him to switch hands or end the set if he has already lifted with both arms.

This is the key.

NO GRINDING REPS.  There is no need.  In a fatigued set where the reps are grinded out, that is when injuries occur.  Also, if every set is taken to this “failure”, overtraining is much more likely.  We want to see quality reps and complete focus by the athlete.  They must be “in” the set the entire time.  As my good friend Rob Pilger says, “Fatigue makes cowards of men” and fatigue also puts the athlete into a compromising position.  Do you let them grind the rep out in a bad movement pattern, or do you cut the set and get another rep on the next workout?

My 20 years in the trenches advice?  Cut the set.

Step 1:

Coaching Cues:

  • Stabilize and Brace Core
  • Retract Shoulder
  • Drive Feet Down

Step 2:

Coaching Cues:

  • Stabilize and Brace Core
  • Retract Shoulder
  • Drive Feet Down
  • Drive Dumbbell to Lockout and Reset Your Air
  • Slowly Return to the Starting Point*

* Key Note:  A neutral grip is preferred for athletes as this is the most advantageous and safest position.

One Arm Dumbbell Press on Swiss Ball

Cool Testimonial for AMPED

You have to see this testimonial for AMPED Warm-up.  It is from Nicolas Amp (yeah I love his last name!) and it is awesome.  Not only does he provide great feedback, he also sent me a picture of him watching AMPED in his car during a traffic jam!  Check it out!

“As a strength coach, it is my responsibility to make sure my athletes get the best from their workout and do not get injured. Every training programs, no matter how good they are, can not be performed well without a proper and well-designed warm up protocol. This is where AMPED comes in action! Everything you need to know about warming up is explained. Self-myofascial release methods, mobility training and activation… everythig is in here. I’ve been particulary interested in mobility training and what I’ve found in AMPED totally answered my questions. Thanks to AMPED, I’m confident I’m going to bring my athletes to the next level. If you are a serious strength coach, you have to get AMPED!”Nicolas AMP



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2 Responses to “Powerful Pressing Power AND Core Strength with an Important Lesson”

  1. Jerry Shreck Says:


    I love the points! Cut the rep-excellent! There are times and places for forced reps. I also loved the comment about coaching your athlete throughout the lift. I see this being overseen by many young strength coaches.

  2. Nico Says:

    Wow Jim!

    I’m honored! Thanks!


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