The forgotten lift! BENT PRESS!

“what is your best bench press?” Probably one of the most frequently asked questions today if you going to the gym to train! But was a time when bench press didn’t existed and people measured they strength with standing military press or with the famous bent press! This lift is the best way to get really heavy weight over head! Believe it or not, you can actually lift more weight while using the Bent Press with one arm, than you can while using the military press with two arms!

This is a lift what was called the “king of lifts” was very popular among old time strongmen about 100 years ago! Obviously you wont see anyone to practice bent press in the gym /unless if someone is big fun of the old school lifting/ but if you want to try you need to find someone who you can learn it from! In bent pressing every muscles of the body is used, requires and develops strength in every part of the body. It teaches most of all balance, timing ,coordination and endurance and surprisingly good lats builder and develops shoulder mobility, stability and lots of strength!

The first article in this series is about Arthur Saxon, the Iron Master, who lived from 1878 to 1971. Here was a man who could lift 370lbs overhead with a single arm in the bent press.

This lift absolutely requires detailed instruction, but with proper coaching and skill breakdown, it can be done safely and effectively by many athletes and kettlebell enthusiasts (although lack of flexibility or poor shoulder and trunk strength will make the lift very challenging).

The kettlebell is really the perfect tool to learn this exercise and neuromuscular learning is key to the success.

The bent press finishes what the get up starts” as stated by Master kettlebell instructor Dave Whitely.


How to do?

Clean the kettlebell or barbell to and rack it on the side, bend away from the weight until your elbow is locked! Stand up in safe manner of your choice until you fix the weight overhead and lower the weight safely.

Leaning back isn’t allowed, the upper arm must stay in contact with the lat (fire your lat) The elbow must be fully extended before standing up, and don’t shrug your shoulder.

A key element of this lift is balance. The lifter should stare at the weight once shouldered and while the arm moves to a locked position overhead. In reality, the lifter bends his body and shoulder away from the weight, bending the opposite leg to help lower the shoulder away from the weight. The whole arm that holds the weight sort of rests on the lifter’s back on that side. The opposite arm is held straight out for balance as well. Although most of the lockout is achieved by bending away from the weight, some pressing of the arm is also employed.

This is a brilliant way to get very heavy weight over head and develops huge strength, and shoulder mobility. What is very important do not try alone if never done anything like this get someone who can teaching you this lift.

Lots of benefits you can get from this old forgotten lift! Like strong developer for the lats / this is very important because the lats is like a bridge between the arms and the body/! Strong mobile hips, lots of strength and stability, so we can say that this lift is a great exercise for total body conditioning!