Bottoms Up! Or in, or Out, or even Side to Side!

I have talked before about the benefits of bottoms up training which you can find here, and even Grand Master Nabil has given me a little shout out after incorporating bottoms up training into his workouts and seeing improvements in his shoulder health! Even at the Sweat Shop from time to time we have incorporated bottoms up training into our workouts, and people are always surprised at how deceptively challenging it can be. This is because to execute the movement properly a lot of shoulder stability is required. This necessary stability comes from training a lot of the smaller stabilizing muscles, which we do not get an opportunity to train often in CrossFit. This is where bottoms up training can come in handy! As said before I have written about it before on how to set up and properly execute a bottoms up kettlebell press so if you haven’t read that yet go ahead and check it out before continuing.

What I want to talk about today is something I have been playing around with recently which is doing the bottoms up press in different positions. Normally the bottoms up press is done by keeping the kettlebell directly in front of your torso. While this is an excellent way to train stability it can get a little redundant. Recently I came across some content on Instagram that was put out by a man named Vinh Pham (@vinnierehab on Instagram) talking about this multi-positional bottoms up work. Vinnie is a doctor of Physical Therapy who is widely popular across Instagram with almost 500k followers. And while normally followers doesn’t necessarily mean quality content, I can attest that this guy puts out some very high quality content on preventing and rehabbing injuries.

If you feel like you have a good comprehension on the traditional bottoms up press where you keep your arm directly in front of your torso, I encourage you to try different pressing angles. You can go all the way out to the side, or somewhere in between straight out in front and off to the side! I have found that taking my elbow all the way out to the side helps me better prepare for barbell pressing as it is a more similar movement pattern than keeping the arm in front. Changing the pressing angle also challenges you in a new way and can lead to faster improvement. Being challenged in a new way is a big reason many of us have ditched the back and bis routine at 24 and decided to pick up CrossFit. In addition to potentially having more carryover to movements we perform often in CrossFit and increasing our adaption rate, its also just fun to explore new ranges of motion! Exploring new movement patterns and new ranges of motion will bring a new challenge to the body and in turn improve your movement intelligence. Improving your movement intelligence will not only teach you new movements (which is always fun), but will also prevent injury in the long run!

If you have yet to incorporate bottoms up training into your regimen I would highly advise you to do so. It is extremely beneficial to shoulder health which we need to pay extra close attention to because of how much activity our shoulders get doing CrossFit! Bottoms up training can be tricky so be sure to ask a coach for help so they can guide you on appropriate movement patterns and loading. Also if you are looking for some quality content on Instagram, I would highly advise you check out VinnieRehab’s page!

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