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The Pin Press

Learn how to pin press in this tutorial with Starting Strength Coaches, Matt Reynolds and Marie Kunkel.

The pin press is an overhead press supplemental exercise. It is a partial press movement, where the bar is placed across the safety pins at a height ranging from a lifter’s chin to above the forehead. It’s also known as the press lockout.

Partial movements are often perceived as easier than the main movement because of the reduced range of motion. However, when first attempting a partial movement, it can be difficult to move the same amount of weight as you would on the main movement. Be patient and keep practicing, because over time you will be able to pin press more than your conventional overhead press.

How To Pin Press (Watch the Video!)

First, take the same grip as your normal overhead press. Get under the bar so it’s directly over your midfoot. Then, push your elbows forward so they are not flared out. Drive the bar up and back to the lockout by “shrugging” it off the pins.

It might take a few seconds for the bar to actually break off the pins, similarly to a rack pull. However, keep pushing! As soon as it breaks off the pins, it usually goes right up to the lockout.

How To Program the Pin Press

The pin press is useful for getting a lifter past their sticking point. For example, when a lifter uses the press 2.0, the bar moves quickly off the rebound, and often gets stuck anywhere between the eyeballs to just above the forehead.

The pin press starts a lifter from that sticking point, forcing them to push through it. Program the pin press on a 4 day split as the press supplemental exercise for that day.

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