Mitchell Hooper Teaches Log Press Technique

The strongman explains "shoulders by the ears" for a more stable overhead press.

On Dec. 28, 2022, 2022 Arnold Strongman UK champion Mitchell Hooper released another educational video on his YouTube channel wherein he taught a live seminar on how to properly overhead press. The eighth-place finisher at the 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest has released a series of videos from that live seminar he taught that covered an array of lifts, including the deadlift.

While Hooper is lifting logs in competition or hoisting barrels in a Viking Press, most of the people he was teaching in the seminar use barbells and split jerks to move weight overweight. Check out what tips Hooper offered them in the video below:

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The first tip prescribed by Hooper involves the positioning of the shoulders with the barbell locked out overhead. Rather than keeping the shoulders lowered with the scapula retracted, Hooper recommends raising the shoulders so that the delts are nearly contacting the ears.

That’s where you get your stability.

Hooper advises against lapping the log against the pelvis for the log press and recommends having the log contact the mid to upper abdominals. When cleaning the log, the lifter should actively try to pull it toward their sternum to achieve better leverage to roll the log up the body. If the log sits against the pelvis, it is much more difficult to roll it to the front rack position.

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Physics of a Log

The cylinder that is a log does not have its mass evenly distributed due to the holes cut out where an athlete grips the handles and the bar that goes through the log. Due to that, the center of gravity is at the ends of the log where the bar enters the log. 

This means that attempting to push the log straight overhead in the front rack position with the wrists over the elbows will cause the log to fall forward, likely moving the lifter off balance. By lifting the elbows, the motion of the log moving overhead should more naturally align the log’s center of gravity directly overhead.

The elbows raised while in the front rack position means the lifter will have to lean back slightly, which can feel unusual for someone unaccustomed to it. The slight backward lean combined with the elbows raised causes the chest to contract and the shoulders to roll forward, creating a shelf for the log from which it can be pressed.

Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram