Mark Rippetoe Press Instruction from Starting Strength 3

Have you watched Mark Rippetoe’s updated Press instruction video?

This is how he teaches it in the Starting Strength Vol 3 Press chapter.

  • reach hip forward without any spinal movement
  • press up
  • get under the bar

Rippetoe Press Instruction

I have to say that I am not a fan of this method.

Even though he emphasizes to avoid motion in the knees, you can clearly see in the video (or screenshot above) that his demo guy bends his knees.

And that is with light weights under demo conditions. How will it look at near maximal weights?

Right now when I press something close to my max it is hard enough to avoid an overly arched back. I think this method would make it even harder.

So no, I will keep pressing strict, without hip movement (Like in Justin’s Overhead Press Basics).

What about you?

I know there are quite a few coaches reading this. What do you think of this method? How do you teach it?

  • Phil

    Didn’t watch the video but I watched one with Bill Starr teaching the olympic press ages ago. Is it similar to how the old oly guys used to press in comp? Hip whip?

    • GregorATG

      On first sight it’ looks somewhat similar, but it’s not.

      In the Olympic Press they moved they arched their backs (moved the back in opposite direction of the press) while pressing to shorten the ROM. Ripetoe does not advocate that.

      Rippetoe just wants this hip pop before you initiate the press. When the press is underway the upper body should return neutral.

      • Strong Fit

        What Ripetoe coaches used to be called a Continental press,very common in the 1800′s and early 1900′s.The mark Berry Barbell Courses show a pic of John Grimek doing it in a VERY accuented way.I press like this actually,without over-arching my back though.I feel quite stronger this way

        • GregorATG

          Interesting, I didn’t know about the ‘Continental press’. Thanks for the info.

        • Ryan

          This not a Continental Press. Continental Press uses the hip whip as Rip describes. But there is a second layback once the initial hip drive gets the bar off the shoulders. Best description I’ve heard is “the continental press is a technique that turns an overhead press into a bench press.”

  • Isaac

    I picked up a lot of bad habits on my jerks from pressing this way with a lot of hip kick/layback for several months. Basically when I jerk heavy weights its very hard to keep my torso stable and my hips end up shooting forward while my spine hyperextends backward to receive heavy weights. If you look at guys from the press era, lots of them do this on their jerks as well and the bar ends up very forward and they are forced to use their triceps and shoulders a lot more to stabilize the out of position weight.

    Probably not a big deal for somebody in powerlifting because the increased pec involvement from laying back carries over very well to bench pressing, but oly lifters need to avoid this kind of pressing.

  • Edwin

    I think this is stupid, and an easy way to injure your back from the extension backwards.

  • Stephen Powell

    As I have stated on previous vids anyone who wants to know how unimformed Rippetoe is on certain things read Bud Charniga’s revoer of his first book on in the misinformation engineering section.

  • Aslanbeck

    I personally like it. It builds more strength overhead this way. It is very similar to the olympic press of the olden days, without the arching and huge layback. For strength purposes it is easier to develop the pressing movement starting from this position, and it reduces the risk of injury to people that would be beginners to lifting by forcing internal rotation and strengthening of the delts and shoulders without any risk of a shear effect on the joints. Basically this is for beginners and is safer for trainees that are just beginning whom usually have a retarded deficit of shoulder flexibility, mobility, and strength. Why are people so concerned about the back? The trainee who would be of course following starting strength could never use enough weight to purchase a carriage to lord snaps kingdom. Look at dan green’s press with layback more excessive than what rippletoe is coaching. I personally like it, and i see why he is putting this kind of press in with starting strength.

    • GregorATG

      Good to hear it works for you.

      I still think it would be better to introduce beginner to the most strict form rather than work around possible mobility issues.

      Over time, once the athletes becomes more proficient with the movement and moves more weight I think it is ok to try out different techniques.

      • Aslanbeck

        I personally don’t do it. As a pure strength exercise, i feel this press works better and is definitely better for beginners to ease them into overhead pressing while building strength and not burying them in mobility work and quite possibly injuries from doing wider grip strict presses wrong. I personally only do push presses because I’m an oly weightlifter. I used to do clean and press like that for football, with layback like the old oly press to build strength. I went from 95 pound strict press to 185 in 2 months. Also, see video of klokov for layback on strict presses. Its not a bad thing to do, but it just looks less clean overall and is less shoulders. Pressing this way for strength is the only reason you should press this way., and the strength gains from using this semi dynamic press form cannot be denied.

    • grambo

      “purchase a carriage to lord snaps kingdom”

      Hahahah, 10/10 quote.

  • sporting

    This is just my own experience but i’ve felt the most discomfort in my lower back from pressing using an excessively arched back(not on purpose just heavy weight), than any other exercise. Perform at your own risk.

    • GregorATG

      That is basically my experience also.

      Even when squeezing the glutes and keeping everything tight, there comes a point when you start to arch. Not a good feeling.

  • Daniel Jørgensen

    He merely trying to target the crossfit people by explaining how you kip a strict press.

  • Clownface

    Will low bar back squatting help this?

  • Simon

    Greg I think that you are a bit uneducated about this press.
    In the picture there is no knee flexion, Rip says you should squeeze your quads. There is also no spinal overextension, the spine is held in neutral by the abdominals. If you overextend during your press it could mean 2 things:
    - you don’t produce enough abdominal tension
    -your abdominals are too weak.

    We could argue if this kind of pressing removes some upperbody work by shooting the bar forward with the hips but this is completely safe if you use the technique he teaches.

    • GregorATG

      And why exactly am I uneducated when it comes to the press?

      I know the possible causes of overextension and would add “bad motor patterns” to your list. Meaning you actually have enough strength, but do not use it correctly.

      What I was saying is that I think his way is more prone to bad execution than the regular press.

      Oh, and I remain that the picture and video show knee flexion. I know (and stated in the post) what Rip says, but that does not change what is shown there. Those would be some pretty bent legs if this was straight.

      • Simon

        Uneducated when it comes to the press Rip teaches, not the press.
        Of course it’s more prone to bad execution, it is a more technical lift. For a beginner even a squat is more prone to bad execution than an half squat.
        The shorts and the screenshot makes it hard to see correctly, just watch the video even at normal speed, the knee joint is always extended it never changes.

        • GregorATG

          Oh I see. Well yes I am uneducated about his press method (as are a lot of people I believe). That’s why I posted it… to get feedback from you guys.

          I might give it a try during my next press session.

          Thanks for your feedback Simon.

          • Simon

            At first, every change you will make to your technique will make it feel worse compared to what you used to do. Gotta get used to it to appreciate its benefits.
            Sorry if I sounded like a dick, it wasn’t intended.

          • sporting

            Why doesn’t Rip just teach the push press? It seems he’s using the hip pop for momentum up until the forehead which you can achieve much more safely and with a much better rack position (instead of directly on the wrists).with the push press. If the argument is you don’t know how much force is leg drive vs. shoulders/triceps it’s pretty easy to ‘gauge’ your dip and drive.

          • SImon

            Because in the push press you start pressing when the bar is at nose level, in Rip’s press you start pressing when the bar is at chin level.

  • Jason

    If you’re flexing the quads, I don’t understand how the hips can come forward. Thats probably why in every example the demonstrators end up bending their knees.