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Kettlebell Sots Press as Accessory to Bent Press?

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KenKennedy

Level 3 Valued Member
Hello everyone,

I am nearing the end of a program that I wrote to get back to lifting after a couple of months of being sick. The program I am going to finish is inspired by Strength Aerobics: clean, press, and front squat. It has worked fairly well but I feel like I want to change my focus for a little while.

For my next program, I intend to do something based on Strong Endurance and Plan Strong. In particular, I intend to use the serial-interval method with snatches and I would like to pair it with bent press. I enjoy writing programs for myself and my partner based on what we have learned at Strong Endurance and Plan Strong.

I have observed a couple of things about myself. First, I have observed that if I try to do a squat-type bent press I have problems with moving into position after my arm is locked out. My bent press tends to be somewhere between the squat-type and the hinge-type. Also, recently, I have been doing some Sots press and I have noticed that they really hit me in my core. I believe that the difficulty in both may be linked.

While I have been practicing the Sots press, I have tried a few variations including single arm, double arm, and seesaw. I found that I really liked the seesaw version. The weight in the non-working arm seems to help me stay tight on that side of my body.

Do you have any opinions on which variation of the Sots press is best to work on (as an accessory to the bent press)?

Have you used any varition of the Sots press as an accessory for the bent press?

Do you have any suggestion on the order to do them if I do both on the same day?

Thank you,
Ken
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello everyone,

I am nearing the end of a program that I wrote to get back to lifting after a couple of months of being sick. The program I am going to finish is inspired by Strength Aerobics: clean, press, and front squat. It has worked fairly well but I feel like I want to change my focus for a little while.

For my next program, I intend to do something based on Strong Endurance and Plan Strong. In particular, I intend to use the serial-interval method with snatches and I would like to pair it with bent press. I enjoy writing programs for myself and my partner based on what we have learned at Strong Endurance and Plan Strong.

I have observed a couple of things about myself. First, I have observed that if I try to do a squat-type bent press I have problems with moving into position after my arm is locked out. My bent press tends to be somewhere between the squat-type and the hinge-type. Also, recently, I have been doing some Sots press and I have noticed that they really hit me in my core. I believe that the difficulty in both may be linked.

While I have been practicing the Sots press, I have tried a few variations including single arm, double arm, and seesaw. I found that I really liked the seesaw version. The weight in the non-working arm seems to help me stay tight on that side of my body.

Do you have any opinions on which variation of the Sots press is best to work on (as an accessory to the bent press)?

Have you used any varition of the Sots press as an accessory for the bent press?

Do you have any suggestion on the order to do them if I do both on the same day?

Thank you,
Ken

Absolutely Sott's Press is a solid lead in to Bent Press to a squat, esp the single arm version. The amount of weight you can do with Sott's is far less than BP, but for learning leverage and mobility it is invaluable.

Avoid loading the non working arm as it robs you of a lot of core activation on the way over and down. Personally, the default BP should be done to a squat, not a hinge IMHO.
 

KenKennedy

Level 3 Valued Member
Absolutely Sott's Press is a solid lead in to Bent Press to a squat, esp the single arm version. The amount of weight you can do with Sott's is far less than BP, but for learning leverage and mobility it is invaluable.

Avoid loading the non working arm as it robs you of a lot of core activation on the way over and down. Personally, the default BP should be done to a squat, not a hinge IMHO.

Thanks for your input. The weights I can move are barely comparable. I have done a 48kg bent press a few times, but a set of five with the 16kg Sott's is pretty hard. I haven't even tried going heavier yet.

I was told that the guidelines for the bent press are the least specific of any of the tested movements, but since Arthur Saxon did his bent press in the squat style and he was the best, I think I will try to copy him.

@KenKennedy, a video of your bent press would be helpful here.

-S-

I will see what I can do. I have never tried to video myself.
 

Arryn Grogan

Level 6 Valued Member
Sinister
I have not used the Sots Press to help my Bent Press. It may help. I've had huge Bent Press success by using the Bent Armbar Press and nailing down my Bent Press groove (for me that's the hybrid).

Here's the Bent Armbar Press: Holly Myers + Arryn Grogan on Instagram: “Arryn here, wanting to share my favorite shoulder warm-up exercise: the bent armbar press. (Got the tip from @michael_wille_ and I figured,…”

Here's the three variations to Bent Press: Holly Myers + Arryn Grogan on Instagram: “✨The Mysterious Bent Press✨⁣ ⁣ It’s one of our favorite lifts these days, but it wasn’t always. It took many practice reps to figure out…”

Hopefully that helps you.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
This is the video I used to initially pattern my BP


The Sott's I worked up to reps with a 50lb, I can't remember if I ever did my 28kg. Is a fantastic core and press challenger in its own right if you have the shoulder mobility. Certainly if you are doing the BP to a squat, you'll have to develop good shoulder mobility, is a lot easier to hold the already pressed KB than it is to press it from the squat.

I worked up to a 40KG for reps on my BP.
 

Shawn90

Level 5 Valued Member
I read old Strongman books and the rules on the Bent Press. No accessory exercises used ever, worked up to 40kg. And never Bent Press simply, because I have no access to heavier weights.

Thank you for bringing my attention to Sots press. It's one of the very few exercise variations I have never tried before :D
 
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KenKennedy

Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks @Arryn Grogan . I think my groove has been the hybrid also. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing it that way to fill in for holes in my mobility and I would rather be mobile enough to choose which variation I want to do.

I do bent armbars as part of my warm up or cool down a lot of the time. Lance Coffel taught me them at the same time he helped me with my bent press. I haven't practiced them as a press, specifically. I may try doing that.

@North Coast Miller That is a good looking bent press, to me. I have found the bent press and Sots to be great at challenging my whole body in different ways.

@Shawn90 You're welcome!

@Pavel Macek Thank you. Is the Sots incompatible with the bent press for some reason? Do you have a recommendation for something that would be better?
 

KenKennedy

Level 3 Valued Member
@Steve Freides I made a couple of videos of my bent press. I did them after my programmed lifting for the day, so I was a little tired. I also had not eaten yet. They are with the 36kg, which is a moderate weight for me when I'm fresh, but I wasn't. Before them I had done 34 rounds of clean, press, and front squat every 40 seconds and switching hands each round with the 32kg which is near 80%1RM for me.

 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Thanks @Arryn Grogan . I think my groove has been the hybrid also. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing it that way to fill in for holes in my mobility and I would rather be mobile enough to choose which variation I want to do.

I do bent armbars as part of my warm up or cool down a lot of the time. Lance Coffel taught me them at the same time he helped me with my bent press. I haven't practiced them as a press, specifically. I may try doing that.

@North Coast Miller That is a good looking bent press, to me. I have found the bent press and Sots to be great at challenging my whole body in different ways.

@Shawn90 You're welcome!

@Pavel Macek Thank you. Is the Sots incompatible with the bent press for some reason? Do you have a recommendation for something that would be better?

- bent armbar, bent armbar press, Brettzel armbar
- kneeling bent press drills from our SFG Level II curriculum (if you are a certified instructor, please refer to @Brett Jones article and video in Instructors Only section of our web)
- heavy bent press rack holds
- medium weight holds in the bottom position of the bent press (right after straightening the arm)
- heavy lockout holds
- movement patterning with a leash (you step on it with opposite leg, assume the bent press start/rack position, and descend in the bottom position of the bent press - the leash prevents you pressing the bell, you have to go under)

Check out these old-time strongmen bent press tips:

Harold Ansorge, Amazing Feats of Strength: Bent Pressing Heavy Weights | SIMPLEXSTRONG

Siegmund Klein Teaches the Dumbbell Bent Press (1938) | SIMPLEXSTRONG

Saxon’s Bent Press Tips | SIMPLEXSTRONG

Bob Hoffman: 12 + 1 Bent Press Thoughts (1938) | SIMPLEXSTRONG

Note: Imho too many people are not doing so called "squat style" correctly - they squat unnecessary too low. "Squat style" bent press doesn't mean "overhead squat."
 
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KenKennedy

Level 3 Valued Member
@Pavel Macek Thank you again for taking the time to help me. I am not a certified instructor. My partner was an SFG1 until recently, but she let it lapse for financial reasons. If you would be so kind, I would like your advice on programming some of what you suggested.

You and @Arryn Grogan both suggested the bent armbar press, so maybe that would be better as an accessory. Are there set and rep ranges that you would suggest for that? I intend to apply principles from Plan Strong, but there are sometimes special considerations for particular lifts.

I also noticed in the Bob Hoffman article that you linked that he suggested, "Practice of pressing in the supine position or the shoulder bridge will improve your bent pressing." Do you think that the bent armbar press would be better than other supine or shoulder bridge presses for someone trying to improve their bent press?

How would you go about programming the various holds that you suggested? Is there a good way to wave the intensity and volume? I can't really think of a good way to determine any maximums, but maybe I'm just overthinking this.

Thank you for the suggestion of using a leash. When I was taught the bent press, it was suggested that I could find a power rack and load up a bar so that I couldn't move it and figure out how to get under it. Unfortunately, I don't have one yet. All of my patterning has been through feeling in my body and my partner giving me her feedback.

With your opinion about the depth of squat, maybe I am trying to fix something that isn't broken and I should just work on getting stronger. I posted some videos and I am happy to take any feedback that you have.

Perhaps I missed your response, but do you think that the Sots press is a bad choice to do while I am focusing on the bent press or just not the best choice?

I really appreciate your advice.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
@KenKennedy

Bent armbar - do it prior to your bent press practice. I usually do 3 sets of either
a) Bent armbar - just hold and breathe
c) Bent armbar press - 5 reps

Bent armbar is not a place for Plan Strong. It is what Brett calls "spice" - it is not a main lift.

I would not do shoulder bridge press.

Generally, you should spend more time bent pressing than looking for other drills - your bent press is pretty solid, all you need is to continue to polish it, lots of perfect reps. All bent pressers know that the same weight feels very heavy, or ridiculously light - depending on technique.

Although you can do the power rack drill you mention, I personally don't recommend it. There is a certain spin in bent press - leash allows it, barbell in power rack does not.

As for the Sots press, I simply see no reason at all why to use it as assistance drill for bent press.
 
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Maine-ah KB

Level 7 Valued Member
Scott Iardella has 3 videos on the bent press. I suggest watching all of them but my favorite "regression" is here Its a half kneeling bent press, when I practice the bent press I do it as part of my warm up.
 

Arryn Grogan

Level 6 Valued Member
Sinister
I totally agree with what @Pavel Macek says.

In my training, a typical bent press session looks like this: A) Bent Armbar Press light x 5, medium x 5, heavy-ish x 5 (some days I only do 3 or 4 reps per set, and some days I go up to 7 or so if it feels good). B) Bent Press x 5-20 total reps for the day, depending on how I'm feeling, including warm-up sets. Another side note: I also utilize continuous reps for bent press. Rarely do I only do singles. I've taken my bent press up to 64kg this way.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
I totally agree with what @Pavel Macek says.

In my training, a typical bent press session looks like this: A) Bent Armbar Press light x 5, medium x 5, heavy-ish x 5 (some days I only do 3 or 4 reps per set, and some days I go up to 7 or so if it feels good). B) Bent Press x 5-20 total reps for the day, depending on how I'm feeling, including warm-up sets. Another side note: I also utilize continuous reps for bent press. Rarely do I only do singles. I've taken my bent press up to 64kg this way.

According my research and experience, medium heavy doubles and triples are way to go - that is the rep range I use in my Royal Simple & Sinister program (snatch + bent press).
 
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