The 3 different types of presses we use most commonly each vary with function and intent. As coaches there are similar “points of performance” (POP) that carry over from one to another that we are always on the lookout for.
The first, which is common in not only the presses, but in most things we do, is a tight core or mid-line. This will set you up to have a rigid torso and be able to transfer energy through into the bar. If you are “broken” or “soft” you will not be efficient and leave a lot of potential on the floor.
We look for the shoulders to stay over the hips, no forward leaning, to keep the bar path as close to the frontal plane as possible. Any deviation makes us lose power and less efficient.
On the push press and jerk we want you to sit back on your heels and again keep the bar inside the frontal plane. This will help ensure you are driving hard with hips and transferring energy well. We want you to drive and “punch” the bar overhead aggressively. This will ensure a solid lockout and receiving of the bar.
Some common mistakes we see are loose mid-lines which leads into a “muted” hip. If you were to watch this it would look like the knees bending forward but no flexion of the hips. So when the hips don’t flex, the cannot extend. Power loss and inefficient drive is the end result. Be sure to sit back when you dip to load those hips. We want to always use the “big movers” i.e. – hips, quads, glutes and work away from center into shoulders and arms. Think core to extremity. Start in the middle and work your way out. This goes for all movements as it teaches us to be most efficient.
Some “violations” of this that we see on the jerk come in the form of a press out. This is when you get the bar overhead and then add a little extra press to get full lockout. Not only is this inefficient but in the world of weightlifting it would be considered a” no lift”. You want to aggressively drive yourself under the bar as you punch it to the roof. This will help you get a good receiving position on the jerk.
As always these things need to be practiced correctly, not just practiced.
“Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”