I'm talking the overhead press. I think I'm up to 62.5 on bench.
You should see how awful I am at the press. On the last rep I'm like twisting and straining with my right arm about half a forearm's length higher than the left. That's why I have to keep repeating. Until I get it right, I don't go further.
Push press uses your legs to transmit energy to the bar. I just do a standard press. I've been working my way up from 20lbs since October and only in the last 2 weeks have I gotten up high enough to use a real powerlifting bar. I still think I cheat myself by bouncing too much off the bottom. The first rep is almost as hard as the last one.
OHP is really hard.
I would say just keep pushing it. Are your shoulders small or wide. That may have something to do with it too. I have the opposite problem. I have very wide shoulders so my upper body is strong but my thighs just never get anywhere. Maybe genetics are making you work a bit harder for those goals. I would suggest if you get that upper body strength to not take much time off. It goes away so fast. I have to work so hard to get some thigh shape
[QUOTE=BonanzaJellybean;1033896]I would say just keep pushing it. Are your shoulders small or wide. That may have something to do with it too. I have the opposite problem. I have very wide shoulders so my upper body is strong but my thighs just never get anywhere. Maybe genetics are making you work a bit harder for those goals. I would suggest if you get that upper body strength to not take much time off. It goes away so fast. I have to work so hard to get some thigh shape[/QUOTE]
My shoulders are quite narrow, so this is likely part of the problem. I certainly am not going to give up. I just want to strengthen my shoulders and arms as I go into this next stage of life and develop a reasonable level of strength and to at least nail the basics of Olympic lifting. I know my age, gender, and probably genetics are fighting me on this but I am a stubborn woman ;) We are working on my FORM for the clean and clean & press, but we are using dynamax balls for this right now until my strength increases.
You sound very strong generally in upper body to me. Just under 5 minutes for a classic plank is awesome.
Leg press feels unhealthy for my spine. I have very strong legs but don't want to put my lower spine under undue pressure. Doing a an L-plank while leaning against a wall feels a lot more natural and doesn't give me any pain in my spine.
My classic plank is only 94 seconds. Again I don't want to push it much further as it feels very uncomfortable for my lower spine. I am hypermobile - I can do a crab, so I have the opposite problem to you.
Re: shoulder muscles - I expect there are exercises you could introduce to make improvements in your shoulder strength specifically. I use downward dog yoga position and shoulder presses mostly. I expect that heavier lifting with deadlifts is the way to go for improving shoulder strength.
Thankfully leg presses and planks/etc don't hurt my spine - nothing actually hurts it (or I wouldn't do those things). Occasionally we do crab walks in my small group training. I've only done these once, but I managed to do them :)
I've been using conventional wisdom for almost 3 years now to increase shoulder/upper body strength and nothing appears to have helped. For one arm I can't press more than I did 3 years ago. I've certainly gained a lot of strength for anything below the waist, which is encouraging. My grip in one hand (the same arm) is currently limiting my deadlifts - I am up to ~120 on deadlifts, but working on the grip thing.
My trainer has a deep knowledge and experience base, and he is focusing solely on my shoulders during our individual sessions and I do a series of corrective exercises. I am certainly seeing some improvement on one side after less than 2 weeks with the new approach, hopefully in time we will see the other side respond...
Come to find out, it looks like I've a frozen shoulder - which my osteopath says explains the muscles on that side not firing properly. There is a hard stop in that shoulder socket when the arm is manipulated. We are following this up...if this IS the issue, then I guess there isn't a surprise that I've had such problems with upper body issues. I'm told that the muscles on that side from my traps to my delts are obviously, and visually, much less developed from my other side. He says there is some muscular atrophy involved on that side...which is pretty amazing considering the amount and intensity of work I've put in for a long time.
[QUOTE=sbhikes;1033181]The overhead press is really hard I don't have any injuries and so far I can barely do 50lbs. I've been bumping around 45 for weeks. I'm still new at this, too. I think I'll be working on these same 50lbs for the next 3 weeks before I feel like I've got them.[/QUOTE]
I find the overhead press interesting... because of all things I am quite good at it (well I wouldn't say GOOD more like I am NOT BAD at it lol). In CrossFit I usually feel like the uselessest member of the class (yes I know that's not a word :P) until days we do presses!
I was quite shocked the other day that I was pressing more than another girl who can deadlift more than I can budge off the ground and consistently lifts higher than me in just about everything. (I was doing groups of 5 presses at 55lbs I think, and almost got a 1 rep max of 66lbs but my arms just couldn't...quite...get there (after the workout!). Now, these aren't GREAT amounts of weight by any stretch of the imagination, but they're a little higher than most of the other women can get (many are doing maybe 44lbs). (BTW I'm converting from kg which is why the weights may be a little odd lol).
With all this, I can barely do squats to save myself! They're one of my worst things. Most of the ladies will get much higher weights with squats than me, even those who are pretty new to the class.
I guess my press muscles (errm whatever muscles are used for presses!) are quite good, while my squat muscles are bad (for all that I've got enormous thighs and thus LOOK as if I should have good lower body strength). It just seems a combination that isn't all that common in women... and makes me wonder if maybe I've got some issues somewhere in the old legs/hips region (I'm also bad at movements that require use of hips... ).
Generally speaking women have much stronger legs than we realize - I can leg press 480 pounds several times and I don't consider that to be unusual as I know other women who can as well. I won't attempt any heavier than that as I can feel that weight in my knee and I don't want to blow it out so I reduce the weight to either 360 for 10-12 reps or 420 for 6-8 reps. I can deadlift my body weight - which isn't impressive (only 130 but still cool). Because of this stupid shoulder problem I can only push press an unweighted 35 pound bar and THAT arm can only press a 12-15 pound weight at most. Some days it is less than that. I can back squat more than I can deadlift - but that isn't a surprise.
Hips are the drivers for both kettlebell swings (not the arms) back squats. If you do have hip problems then you might have issues there as well. How do you do with them?
I'm sharing my own shoulder experience in case there's any connection to your problems.
I was a lap swimmer for about 35 years (I'm 71). About 4 years ago, I began having pain in my left shoulder. I see a physiatrist (MD who specializes in rehab) because I have severe osteoarthritis. He diagnosed an 'impingement' and sent me off for physical therapy. He also told me that I needed to avoid any overhead movements (like my swimming stroke)--indefinitely.
It seems that the shoulders are the only body joint without that 'ball/socket' connection. To have the flexibility needed, our shoulders are connected with tendons and ligaments--that tend to stretch with age. In addition, the physical therapist told me that most adults over the age of 50 will have minor tears in this soft tissue. I went through a course of exercises that eliminated my pain and strengthened the shoulder, but when I tried to return to swimming, the problem surfaced again, and my doctor told me to find other forms of exercise.
I now do strength training regularly, but I focus on my lower body and do limited upper body routines--mainly biceps and triceps.
I know that frozen shoulder can be corrected, but after a certain age, weak shoulders are often something a person has to live with.
I too have pathetic shoulders, but I've learned to love them and to accept that my body strength is all in my legs and my upper half is puny.
I lift weights 3 X week and one of those is a Body Pump class. I can three times the average class weight, my chest weight is heavy, even biceps are heavier than average. But my shoulders...when I started I could barely fo overhead presses or side raises with 1kg plates. 3 years later I can manage 4kg, but only for about 10 reps. Having said that, my shoulders may be puny but they are very well defined and toned, I'm really proud of them. They can't lift as much as the rest of me, but they look really strong! I think a lot of women have weak shoulders, be proud of lifting light weights and keep lifting these.