Press in Split Position

Exercise of the week - press while in split position
Exercise 01: Press while in split position

This exercise is about core stability while performing the Jerk, a significant issue for many athletes. The issue is that the degree of pelvic rotation in the Jerk Receiving position is either learner incorrectly or becomes too exaggerated as a result of incorrect training, and this causes:

  • pressure on the lumbar spine and
  • an unstable receiving position where the hips are behind the bar instead of under the bar,

Understanding pelvic rotation requires a small amount of anatomy knowledge. In Figure 1 below, the blue arrows show the direction of rotation. As the bottom of the spine is fixed to the pelvis, the more the pelvis tilts, the more the lumbar spine bends to allow the person to stand upright. In the Jerk Receiving position, the upper body of the athlete needs to upright to enable a heavy weight to be held overhead in balance.

Illustration of pelvic rotation
Figure 1: Anatomy of pelvis rotation

The following diagram illustrates anatomical factors that can cause this exaggeration over time. Weightlifters can become very tight in the hip flexors,¬† particularly the Rectus¬†Femoris muscle, and of course they are always building strength in the “Erectors”. If insufficient time is spent developing strength of the abdominal muscles and other exercises to correct the pelvis rotation, the problem will not fix by itself but may get worse.

Illustration of anatomical factors causing pelvic rotation
Figure 2: The stability of the pelvic is dependent on the balance of force in neighboring muscle groups.

Poor coordination and lack of strength of various muscle groups around the pelvis are a probable factor causing pelvic rotation.When performing the Press in Split Position, focus your efforts on: (a) keeping abdominal muscles very tight (b) pushing hip forwards as shown in Figure 3 below and (c) trying stretch the quads in the trailing leg.

Illustration of where to focus attention when performing the exercise Press in Split Position.
Figure 3: Where to focus attention when performing the exercise Press in Split Position.