The most important exercise everyone tends to agree on, and that’s the squat. The squat works the entire kinetic chain of the body and the entire posterior is worked either eccentrically, concentrically or isometrically. The squat comes in two forms: high bar squat and low bar squat; there are other variations of squats, but they are accessory movements: front squats are an example of this.

Squatting comes from applying a barbell on your back and using correct technique and movement to lift the weight using the entire legs. The squat causes the release of anabolic testosterone, which aids in production of contractile proteins like myosin and actin.

The squat should be the forefront of every routine; there is no disputing it. Squatting leads to gains in every other lift. Don’t believe me? If you aren’t doing squats, add them in, I guarantee you your plateau will be busted when you get your squat where it needs to be.

The big “three” is considered the squat, deadlift and bench press. This is because they are the exercises tested for overall body strength in powerlifting competitions. The bench press is the exception though, because I am in no agreement that is shows more upper body strength than the press!

The press contracts more muscles than the bench press because of the natural motion and requirements. For example, you have to stand up when you press (or at least you should be pressing that way). When you bench press, you are laying down and pushing your back into the mat creating a crutch for adding more weight. The bench press also uses the muscle stretch reflex, at the bottom of the eccentric.

The press starts with the most difficult part – the concentric phase. As you unrack the weight, or clean the weight (preferably clean it). You immediately work against the pull of gravity and the entire shoulder has a specific job in the press; although, some parts of the shoulder has a more specific job than others.

Each press there should be a pause at the bottom of the eccentric between each rep; this prevents the stretch reflex from assisting with the “pressing” part of the exercise. It also can prevent falling backwards through keeping the core tight and allows overall more muscle contraction and consistent drive from the hips. The press was originally the upper body pressing strength exercise before bench presses came along. The press uses more stabilizer muscles and tests more overall strength. Use the press instead!,-Deadlift,-and-Press!&id=3756810

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